GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) - Research shows that one in 88 children will be diagnosed with Autism. Now, Summit Educational Resources and the community are teaming up to take a stand against the disorder.
"On April 28th, we have the Autism Walk and we're very excited. We're expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people for that walk," Summit Educational Resources Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stephen Anderson said.
Dr. Anderson announced the details of the walk at a gathering, Monday, to celebrate Autism Awareness Day. He said the money raised at the walk is essential to the survival of the program.
"Funding for non-profits has been reduced, or a least remained static. We have a significant need to meet the needs of kids with Autism," Anderson said.
Haley Storrs, 16, is a non-verbal, deaf, autistic teenager. Summit has been her guide since she was very young. Her mother Lorrie said it's gotten the family through very tough times.
"I don't think we would have survived without Summit. This agency has gone above and beyond what was needed to be successful," Lorrie Storrs said.
Community leaders and business owners are also a big part of the walk. Duane Paddock, owner of Paddock Chevrolet and Jeffrey Zimmer, owner of Reeds Jewelers Jenss Décor are both sponsors. Zimmer has a personal tie to the cause, having a child with Autism.
"We're all part of one community and we need as much support as possible for our children and our community. This is a wonderful resource to have in Western New York," Zimmer said.
Paddock also has a connection.
"I have a nephew with autism so it's very personal to me. We're thrilled to be a part of the function on the 28th and to be able to support summit," Paddock said.
Anyone who would like to be a part of the walk can register by going to the news links section of wkbw.com and clicking on the SUMMIT information.