In an effort to raise awareness for a disorder that affects one in every 59 children, Autism Speaks held their annual fundraiser.
The whole month of April is Autism Awareness month across the nation. During this time organizations, like Autism Speaks, do their best to raise awareness. Autism Speaks Sales Coordinator Katelyn Taylor said in April hotels that are managed by Hersha Hospitality Management gather to help raise money in a variety of ways.
“All of the hotels’ nationwide partner with Autism Speaks and we fundraise at our front desk we do t-shirts, crafts, bake sales,” Taylor said. “So, every hotel nationwide gets a little bit creative.”
On Thursday, about 50 people gathered at the Courtyard Marriot on Lawrence Road for their Paint and Sip Workshop fundraiser. During the fundraiser, people who attended were able to paint wine bottles, create centerpieces, and other decorations along with a silent auction all to help raise awareness. Helen Farabee IDD Authority Intake Coordinator Sabrina Caston said it is important to educate others about Autism.
“Autism is something affecting more of the population,” Caston said. “We are not exactly sure why right now but we are seeing it rise so there’s a chance that you will be exposed to someone with Autism.”
Taylor said there are some misconceptions about people with Autism when it comes to the ways they calm themselves, which was addressed during the gathering.
“In this past year its been a big issue with even the police thinking that they are threatening,” Taylor said. “They do a thing called stemming to calm themselves so they rub their hands or just kind of do signs like this. It makes them comfortable if they are in an uncomfortable situation.”
Like every year, the hope at the event was to help raise awareness while also raising money for one very good cause.
After fundraising all April and getting everyone paid out at the event they have raised a little more than $3,500.
Autism Speaks authorities still have bracelets and tumblers for sale all through April, and their bistro is open to the public for anyone to come in and order off their “blue” menu.