Local Students Honored for Their "iPads for Autism" Fundraiser
Inspired to take action by a 60 Minutes segment “Apps for Autism: Communicating on the iPad,” two seventh grade students, Cole Barnard and Peter Schueler, mobilized a team effort to raise funds to help their peers with autism. They joined their friends, Lily Barnard, Sophie Barnard, Maggie Brennan, Tyler Hartmeyer and Ryan Kliger, and formed the iPads for Autism Committee, who initiated a grassroots effort to sell “iPads for Autism” bracelets, raising $1,800.
Intent on raising funds to purchase enough iPads for each classroom in the Autism Program, the Committee reached out to the Long Island business community and asked corporations to match their funds. Four companies matched the Committee‘s efforts: Hitemco Medical Applications, Inc., Hitemco/Division of Barson Composites Corporation, North Sea Advisors , LLC, the Pascucci Family Foundation, as well as Ryan Kliger, who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, helping the Committee exceed their goal with a total of $11,000. These funds will be used to purchase an iPad for each classroom, as well as to purchase specialized communication apps.
“These students not only took the initiative to help others in need, but they also gained a deeper understanding of their peers coping with autism,” says Sherry Black, Autism Program Supervisor, Brookville Center for Children’s Services. “We are thankful for their dedication and generosity to our students.”
The altruistic group of students were honored for their work in helping children with autism at the Brookville Center for Children’s Services “Reach for the Stars” dinner to benefit its Autism Program. More than 350 guests attended the dinner held at the Inn at New Hyde Park in March, raising over $130,000 for the Autism Program. The funds will be used to establish a technology fund for the program's future technological needs.