Go the Distance for Autism

Go the Distance for Autism Celebrates National Autism Awareness Month

New autism prevalence statistics create sense of urgency for fundraising & awareness


Paramus, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/01/2014 -- Every April, businesses, individuals and organizations around the world celebrate Autism Awareness Month with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events to show support for the autism community. This year, four schools from Northern New Jersey will once again join forces and combine their fundraising efforts to produce the Fifth Annual Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ. The fundraising efforts of Alpine Learning Group, The EPIC School, Garden Academy and REED Academy are particularly timely in light of the recent announcement of the new autism prevalence numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicating 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“Given the CDC’s recent announcement, we must come together as a community now more than ever” states Jill Nadison, Executive Director of REED Academy. “Throughout April we will work together to raise awareness for autism, highlight needs for programs and services and honor the individuals and families who live with autism every day. Throughout the month we will host events at Westfield Garden State Plaza, our event sponsor and bike event venue, for the community to come out and support, and will culminate with our Fifth Annual Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event, which will allow us to raise awareness, educate and bring the community together to benefit those with autism who live in Northern New Jersey.”

As part of this year’s efforts, Go the Distance is pleased to announce the following events:
- April 8, 2014 – 6-9 p.m. Shop at Intimacy Westfield Garden State Plaza and 10% of the proceeds from purchased items will be donated to GTD
- April 8, 2014 – Dine anytime throughout the day at California Pizza Kitchen and 20% of your bill will be donated to GTD

Go the Distance for Autism is a collaborative effort by four northern New Jersey schools for learners with autism – Alpine Learning Group in Paramus, The EPIC School in Paramus, Garden Academy in Maplewood and REED Academy in Oakland - and will be held on Sunday, May 4 at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ. To-date, the 2014 event has raised over $200,000 through corporate sponsorships and donations. This year’s Premier sponsors include Ellkay, Ramsey Auto Group and TD Bank North, joined by Platinum Sponsors Columbia Bank, Cullari, Carrico, Soojian, Burke, LLC, Hackensack Digestive Disease Associates, Oritani Charitable Bank Foundation, Rose & Edward Dryer Philanthropic Foundation.

GTD4A is also pleased to announce Quest Autism Programs, Inc. is the recipient of the 2014 grant award. Quest Autism Programs, Inc. Executive Director Toli Anastassiou says of the grant, “Quest is very excited and honored to receive this award! Funding for adult services is minimal, with the majority of our resources coming from fundraising. This grant provides much needed support to provide innovative instruction to our adults. We will use these resources to purchase iPads for each participant in our program. These devices are portable, multifunctional, and non-stigmatizing both in the community and at work. Community-based programming is a key component of our program and this grant will facilitate teaching skills including communication, self-care, recreation and leisure, and employment skills.”

For more information about the event, visit http://www.gtd4autism.org and register today to ride, donate or volunteer.

About the Schools
Alpine Learning Group, The EPIC School, Garden Academy and REED Academy are non-profit organizations located in northern NJ that provide one to one educational and behavioral services to children and adults with autism. Autism is a neurobiologically-based developmental disability that emerges during a child’s first three years of life. Individuals with autism display marked impairments in communication and social skills as well as a restricted range of interests and behavior. For more information, please visit http://www.alpinelearninggroup.org - http://www.epicschool.org - http://www.gardenacademy.org and http://www.reedacademy.org