The first annual Ithaca College Autism Awareness Walk was hosted April 5 on the Fitness Center Quad. The walk was a fundraiser for the Ithaca Youth Bureau’s Recreation Support Services, a center for people with autism in Tompkins County. The event brought together about 35 people and raised $500 dollars for the center.
Senior Meredith Sager, president of IC Autism Awareness, planned this event and founded the club her sophomore year.
Staff Writer Eden Campbell spoke to Sager about the success of the event, work of the Ithaca Youth Bureau’s Recreation Support Services and the future for IC Autism Awareness.
Eden Campbell: How did the Autism Awareness Walk go this past weekend?
Meredith Sager: It went really well, we had a bunch of people come and register onsite. The weather was not that great, but we still got a good group.
EC: All the proceeds of the event are going to the Ithaca Youth Bureau’s Recreation Support Services. Why did you pick this center?
MS: This support service provides recreational programming, free of charge, to children and adults with disabilities in Tompkins County. At Ithaca College, we started volunteering with an autism swim program through them. Our club really connected with them and love what they are doing. What they are doing for Ithaca is really fantastic. It’s giving a lot of people opportunities to do things they normally wouldn’t be able to do.
EC: How do you think this walk and what the club is doing will affect the the college community?
MS: I think it was really great that we could have an event that was on campus. It gives us the opportunity to bring light to an issue that is really important to many people on our campus. It’s obviously something that is prevalent to the school.
EC: What do you see for the future of IC Autism Awareness?
MS: We did a lot of leg work this year with getting the college community [involved], but hope to expand to help [get] the entire Tompkins County involved.