Paramus, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/09/2014 -- On Sunday, May 4, more than 1,000 cyclists, families, volunteers, donors and sponsors attended the 5th Annual Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event at the Westfield Garden State Plaza. Riders of all ages cycled more than 15,000 miles and raised over $880,000 to support the educational programs for learners with autism at Alpine Learning Group, The EPIC School, Garden Academy and REED Academy.
"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the individuals and families that came out to support the autism community," said Dr. Paul Argott, Clinical Director of The EPIC School. "In five short years, the event has raised nearly $4 million for autism education. To raise this much money is a testament to the power of partnerships and a clear and well-articulated message: get involved and together we will make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism and their families."
This year’s event was bigger and better than ever, with bouncy houses and carnival games for the children, musical entertainment by Jodi DiPiazza and School of Rock and a visit from New Jersey Senator Bob Gordon and State Assemblymen Joe Lagana and Tim Eustace. The government officials attended the event to present each school with an official government proclamation. NFL player Anthony Fasano of the Kansas City Chiefs was also in attendance to sign autographs, take photos and have a special football toss with the kids.
“Our annual Go the Distance for Autism bike event continues to be one of the most successful autism fundraising events in the state,” states Jill Nadison, Exceutive Director of REED Academy. “Funds raised provide our schools with the resources to provide specialized programs and services to our students and their families. The incredible fundraising efforts would not be possible without our dedicated sponsors, our committed parents and our loyal donors. “
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Alpine Learning Group praises the level of commitment shown by Go the Distance for Autism sponsors. “This event simply would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Whether they have been with us for the last five years or they were new to Go the Distance for Autism this year, they have all shown a commitment to increasing autism awareness and to the importance raising funds for the education and treatment of children and adults with autism.”
David Sidener, Executive Director of Garden Academy added, “Garden Academy is so honored to be a part of the Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event. There is power in numbers and when the four organizations collaborate and work together, we are more effective than ever at raising money and awareness for individuals with autism in NJ. We look forward to continuing our mission and contributing to this amazing event in the years to come!”
Go the Distance would like to thank all of the event sponsors, including Premium Sponsors Allied Barton; Ellkay; North Jersey Brain & Spine Center; Ramsey Auto Group; and TD Bank. Platinum Sponsors Callahan and Fusco; Columbia Bank; Cullari, Carrico, Soojian, Burke, LLC; GNYHA Ventures, Inc.; Hackensack Digestive Disease Associates, PA; Kearny Federal Saving; Oritani Charitable Bank Foundation; and Rose & Edward Dryer Philanthropic Foundation. Diamond Sponsors: ABNOTE CORPORATE, ACT-TEK, Bederson and Company, Budget Blinds of Paramus and Ridgewood, Dello Russo Laser Vision, EisnerAmper, Evolution Construction, Infusion Development, Investors Savings Bank, Jordan & Jordan, Kindersmiles, Kirkland & Ellis, Lapatka Associates, Macy's, Mayer Brown, Mayerson & Associates, Miss Patti's School of Dance, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - NJ Branch, Pashman Stein, Peter Winik Productions, Progenity, Smith Mazure, Spine & Sports Medicine of HoHokus, Stop & Shop NY Metro Division, Sussan & Greenwald, Esqs., Tarpey Group, Valley National Bank; and Willis. Special thanks to Westfield Garden State Plaza; mybergen.com; 201 Family and Jack Daniels Motors.
About the Schools
Alpine Learning Group, The EPIC School, Garden Academy and REED Academy are non-profit organizations located in northern NJ that provide 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