‘Face-off for Autism’ hockey event generates funding for adults with autism
Approximately 320 participants suited up for the “Sixth Annual Face-off for Autism” hockey tournament, held recently in West Chester, Pa. The event, generating nearly $20,000, will benefit a Devereux Pennsylvania scholarship program for adults with autism.
Over the last five years, the Face-Off for Autism event – a partnership with Shinny USA – has raised more than $100,000 for Devereux Pennsylvania’s “Bridge Scholarship,” which helps young adults with autism ensure there is no lapse in services between high school graduation and adult programming. Scholarship recipients are served by Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP), which provides individualized and innovative community-based services for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other disabilities.
The event included 32 teams battling it out on the hockey rink for bragging rights; one team comprised of Devereux employees, including Executive Director of Autism Services and event co-organizer Dr. Todd Harris.
“We are so grateful to our players, sponsors and volunteers for making this event a reality and raising funds for such an important cause,” said Dr. Harris. “This tournament is a fantastic way to generate funding for individuals with autism as they transition into adulthood, but it’s also an opportunity to educate people about autism. In between the games, our employees – and the individuals we serve – share information about Devereux and their experiences with our organization. It’s always inspirational for our players and attendees.”
Funding the gap
The challenges facing individuals with ASD shift considerably as they make the transition to adulthood. For adolescents, this issue is compounded as critical behavioral health services end – or are considerably reduced – as students leave the school environment.
“Youth with autism age out of educational programs when they turn 21, and the gap between transitioning into an adult program can be as short as one month, or more than one year, due to waiting lists or lack of funding,” said Devereux Pennsylvania CAAPP Director Amanda Duffy. “For many young adults with autism, this gap can result in skill regression or loss of skills that are critical to independence. Events like this tournament help fill that gap for the nearly 120 adults served by CAAPP.”
Bridge scholarships are granted to adults in three Pennsylvania counties whom may need individualized supports and services – through CAAPP – as they develop skills for employment or volunteer work, or to live as independently as possible. The primary goal is to provide instruction and support across community, home and work environments that will help individuals become productive, socially connected, and personally fulfilled members of their local communities.
Next up: Tee-Off for Autism
Get your golf clubs ready! The second annual “Tee-Off for Autism” golf tournament – also benefitting Devereux Pennsylvania – will be held at Broad Run Golfer’s Club on September 14, in West Chester, Pa. Interested sponsors or participants should visit www.teeoffforautism.com or contact T.J. Schneider.
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