Annual Walk for Autism#AutismNWPAWalk
Thank you for your contributions to the 18th Annual Walk for Autism!
The Walk is our signature fundraising event which brings together thousands of participants and funds approximately 65% of our annual budget to maintain and increase direct supports to persons and families living with autism in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
We were honored to partner with our 2019 Walk Chair Family, Bill and Heather Evans and their children Brooke and Logan. The Evans family has been a part of the Autism Society NWPA for the past five (5) years. The Evans family opened their hearts and shared their story with our local community. Not only did Heather organize their team Everything is Awesome, she assisted with her school team Bison Strong. Heather was also the key organizer and leader of our first Walk Kick-off “Ducks 4 Buck$” held in February. Thank you, Evans family, for all your support efforts and dedication to ensure a successful 2019 Walk for Autism.
2019 brought a record setting year for our pre-registration numbers. We started the day with 1,801 registered walkers! We completed the day with around 2,000 Walkers which was outstanding considering Mother Nature was not our friend on April 27th. It was an overwhelming delight to see the abundance of walkers lined up for the Walk on the coldest windy day of April! I’m proud to be a part of such an outstanding resilient community. All of you are amazing!
The Walk would not be possible without community support. 57 community members and businesses sponsored the 2019 Walk for Autism. Our Diamond sponsor for the 2019 Walk was Connoisseur Media with Wm T. Spaeder and State Farm local agents as our Platinum Sponsors. All our sponsors are an important part of the success of our Annual Walk for Autism. Please be sure to patronize our sponsors. For a full listing visit autismnwpa.org.
Our 57 team captains of the 2019 Walk recruited over 1,240 walkers! Due to the tremendous support of our team captains, sponsors, donors, and walkers, we raised over $102,000! A huge shout out to our Team Captains for your continued efforts of organizing walkers, raising awareness, and hosting fundraisers throughout the year. The Annual Walk for Autism is only as strong as the people involved! We will continue to shout THANK YOU but it will never be enough to express our thanks to all our support.
“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead
Did you know it takes 8 Directors, 15 Team Leaders, 3 photographers and over 140 volunteers to plan, organize, and run the Annual Walk for Autism? Our 2019 Walk Committee and Directors work for eight months sharing their expertise and resources to ensure the Walk is seamless for our participants. Our tireless directors: Dave Bartlett, Jay Spaeder, Mike Eisert, Israel Wodarski, Jayson Spaeder, Kameron Landers, Richard Burmood, Anne Eisert, and team leaders: Dave Steiner, Hope Martinson, Mary Spaeder, Karen Kaiser, Shanda Coleman, Dan Wirley, Jason Keim, Elysa Farrell, Ken Mueller, Doug Boucher, Bren Lindell, Jim Flynn, Jackie Lazeski, and Tammy Rohler (a.k.a. our emergency Jackie for the day). A special thank you to our Friday set up crew who worked through the rain to prepare Beach 11 for our Walk: Dave Bartlett, Dave Steiner, Israel Wodarski, and John Fox. We also have over 140 volunteers that arrived around 7:00am on a cold windy wet Erie morning with a smile and helping hand to be ready for our walkers. There are also the behind the scene office volunteers that share many hours helping prepare Walk registrations, merchandise, themed baskets, and packing/unpacking the truck. I would love to name everyone but that will fill the entire newsletter.
Thank you to our Board of Directors for all their support, guidance, and fundraising efforts. We had 100% participation from board members either setting up a team, volunteering at the Walk, or donating towards Ducks 4 Buck$. As the Executive Director of the Autism Society NWPA, I know we are blessed with some of the best board members in Erie!
Thank you, again, for all your support. Although we are overwhelmed by the support and record setting pre-registration numbers, the weather did affect the overall Walk outcome. Autism Society NWPA depends 100% on fundraising dollars to meet our mission goals and continue to support families in our local community. If you have a fundraising opportunity, please consider Autism Society NWPA as your charity of choice.
Our committee has already started plans for the 19th Walk for Autism tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020. Everyone…be nice to Mother Nature so the beautiful April weather will join us in 2020.
If you haven’t already, visit Facebook to view the official Walk photo provided by Carolyn and Ron Vollentine, Greg Coleman and John Fox. Thank you, Carolyn, Ron, John and Greg for sharing your day and talents with us!
Sincerely, Tish Bartlett, Executive Director
Thank you to all our sponsors of the 18th Annual Walk for Autism. Please be sure to patronize all our amazing sponsors!
Connoisseur Media | BOB-FM; JET 1400 Radio; 95.9 LITE FM
Wm. T. Spaeder Company, Inc. State Farm local agents EMTA
Jet Edge International Sportsmen's Athletic Club Plymouth Tavern
Port Erie Plastics Team Marko Panera Bread
Lakeshore Community Service Jake's Jems Millennium Sounds
LAMAR Barber National Institute Wal-Mart Foundation
North Coast Sanitation Erie
Amicangelo & Theisen, LLC Beautiful Smiles Community Behavioral Health
Custom Engineering Lake Erie Speedway The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School
Hagan Business Machines Lake Erie Tri-State Mopars Pete's Pub
Stewart Masonry Superior Toyota Tim Hortons
Allegheny Health Network
Shoreline Construction Bates Collision, Inc. Achievement Center
Baer Appraisal, LLC Contine Corporation City of Erie Employee Community Service Fund
Donatos "Every piece counts" Erie Animal Hospital Hilling Pfeffer Insurance
Great Lakes Case & Cabinet John V. Schultz Lake Erie Tri-State Mopars
Marquette Savings Bank Northwest Savings Bank Silk Screen Specialties Unlimited
Small Business Alternative Strategy Solutions Anne Saxer
Utz Snacks Schwebel's Bakery Co Niagara Therapy
Vollentine, Ron & Carolyn Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Erie
Friends of Autism
Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc McGill, Power, Bell & Associates, LLP
Jiffy Print Instant Printing Wegmans
Congratulations to our Team Incentives & Team Captain Winners!
Team Awards ~ 2019
Most Funds Raised:
Family: Team Keagan "Never Look Back" with 45 walkers raising $5,143
Company: Theodore's Team with 35 walkers raising $9,880
School: Bison Strong - Fort LeBoeuf School District with 194 walkers raising $6,368
Unique Fundraiser: Team Zucrew; 18 walkers raising $1,419
Star Team Award: Patrick's Posse; 37 walkers raising $2,655
Team Incentives ~ 2019
#1 ~ teams raised $1,500 or more in donations/walk registrations earned (2) 2019 Commemorative Walk hoodies | 12 teams earned sweatshirts!
Bison Strong Theodore's Team Team Marko Team Keagan
Patrick's Pose Everything Awesome Team Neelym Bartlett Turtle Crew
Team Biggins Logan's Heroes Wes Walkers Lakeshore Community Service
#2 ~ For every $500 a team received in donations/walk registration, the team was entered into a drawing for Chris Stapleton concert tickets [donated by Connoisseur Media] and gift certificate to The Cork, Molly Brannigans, or Skunk & Goat [donated by Red Letter Hospitality]
Winner: Team Keagan "Never Look Back"
#3 ~ Returning Teams: team with the highest % increase in donations/walk registrations from 2018 to 2019 wins: Erie Otters tickets (4) [donated by Erie Otters] and BrewErie gift certificate [donated by BrewErie]
Winner: Mason's Voice with a 64% increase!
Team Captain Awards: thank you to our Board of Directors for donating ALL the Ducks 4 Buck$ prizes and Team Captain Incentives!
Prize # 1 ~ 1 year membership to Autism Society NWPA | Team Fairview
Prize # 2 ~ $50 Wine & Spirits Gift Card | High Five for Autism
Prize # 3 ~ $75 Giant Eagle GetGo Gift Card | Mason's Voice
Prize # 4 ~ $100 Splash Lagoon & $35 Get Air Gift Card | Team Zucrew
Prize # 5 ~ Apples Wireless Air Pods with Bluetooth | Team Marko
Prize # 6 ~ Santana Concert Tickets | Bartlett Turtle Crew