Family members of Devereux Pennsylvania youth raise $8,000 for the organization
Matt and Cindy Puscar, and their daughter, Allison, recently hosted a fundraiser to benefit Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) center. The event raised $8,000 for Devereux.
Thanks to the generosity of its
many supporters, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
is able to continue the vision of its founder – Helena Devereux – to help build
a life of resilience, self-fulfillment and happiness for people of all
can be particularly rewarding when family members recognize the organization’s
achievements by taking on fundraising efforts of their own.
was the case of Cindy and Matt Puscar, aunt and uncle of Mickey who is a resident of Devereux
Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services
(CIDDS) center. Celebrating Matt’s 40th birthday earlier this year
culminated in a fundraiser that raised $8,000 for CIDDS, which will be used to create
a sensory room for youth with special needs.
Commemorating a 40th
year, we were trying to figure out how to celebrate my 40th
birthday,” explained Matt Puscar. “We thought about a party, travel or buying
certain things, but we attended a charity event that friends of ours put on
every year in honor of their brother and father, and were inspired to do
something ourselves. We shifted our focus away from what we should do to
celebrate our milestone, to what we should do to help others and start a
tradition of our own. We wanted to make
a local impact for something that’s near and dear to us. Of course, Devereux
immediately came to mind because of my nephew, Mickey, who lives in one of
CIDDS’ residential houses.”
who is 17-years-old, entered the CIDDS Greenway residential home seven years
ago with diagnoses of autism, separation anxiety and an intellectual
disability. Since that time, he has developed stronger communication skills and
coping skills to help deal with change. Today, Mickey lives in Devereux
Pennsylvania CIDDS’ Laura Villa Men’s Center.
our experience, when people talk about helping those with autism, they are
talking about young children. It seems that kids aging with autism, like
Mickey, are often overlooked or misunderstood,” noted Cindy Puscar.
An exciting evening
Puscars handled all of the logistics, and their successful fundraising event
was held at The Merion Tribute House in Merion Station, Pa. A supportive group
of more than 80 family members and friends attended the cocktail hour and dinner,
along with dancing, and a silent auction/raffle.
evening ended with speeches from Matt Puscar and Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Greenway
Treatment Manager Lauren Eder, who
explained how the donations would be used.
Funding a sensory room
we reached out to Devereux initially for a wish list of what the kids needed,
at the top of the list was a sensory room,” said Cindy Puscar.
rooms allow individuals with autism or other special needs the opportunity to
experience a less stimulating world or surrounding environment by using special
lighting, decreasing background noise through the use of music or sound machines,
and allowing people to explore their personal sensory world with different toys
and seating equipment. The majority of individuals with autism have a
heightened response to sensory stimulation and these rooms help individuals learn
how to process sensory stimulation in a safe and more predictable setting.
Ultimately, the use of sensory rooms helps individuals find and develop coping
strategies to increase self-regulation in everyday life.
rooms can be difficult to fund because the equipment is very expensive and it requires
regular maintenance,” said Eder. “Funding from events like the Puscar’s extremely
generous birthday celebration fundraiser are the main reason sensory rooms in
our programs exist. Now, each of our Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS programs has
access to a sensory room, either in a residence or in a school. This is
fantastic news for the individuals we serve, including Mickey!”
added: “It was a pleasure to be part of this event, as an educator and an
advocate for people living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive
differences. The evening was truly amazing.”
Same time next year!
goal is to raise visibility for the great work Devereux does, and possibly hold
a similar fundraiser next year … but bigger!” exclaimed Matt Puscar.
Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
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