NEWTOWN >> Being the mother of a child with autism is often both a great joy and a tremendous challenge. Just ask Linda Kuepper and Jacqui Makowski, the loving mothers of sons with autism, who know how vital the right support can be in their lives.
These formidable women are each deeply touched by the love and endless support that Autism Cares Foundation Co-Founder Linda Kuepper and Managing Director Jacqui Makowski have received from other parents, as well as the Bucks County community, and extending into the Tri-State area.
These moms, along with their friends, neighbors, extended families, and many volunteers, are getting ready to lace up their sneakers for the Autism Cares Foundation’s Race for Resources, and they do so as proud and caring mothers.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, they will gather with friends, neighbors and a broad cross-section of the community at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, in Newtown, Bucks County, on a crisp autumn day, for the 9th Annual Race for Resources. The Autism Expo offering a wide range of resource options opens at 7:30 a.m. Race kickoff is at 9 a.m.
Emmy-Award-winning CBS-3 News Anchor Jim Donovan will be the master of ceremonies, helping to spread awareness of the importance of caring for children and adults with autism, and other special needs, and their family members.
Among the volunteers will be a vital presence from Bucks County Community College. The Bucks Alumni Association is proud to sponsor a team of students, alumni, employees and friends who will participate as runners and volunteers at the Race for Resources.
“Just like Bucks County Community College, our Alumni Association values service to the community and recognizes the meaningful impact of the Autism Cares Foundation to Bucks County residents,” said Christina McGinley, Assistant Director, Foundation & Alumni Relations for Bucks County Community College. “We encourage Bucks alumni and friends to join our team on Saturday, Nov. 3.”
“My family has participated in the Race for Resources for several years,” says Makowski, “and as a mom, I have always been struck by the genuine warmth, sense of kindness, acceptance, and a special energy that fills the air.”
Several years ago, Makowski and her husband, Tom, started bringing their son, Ryan, now 16, to Autism Cares Foundation events. Now as the Managing Director of the Autism Cares Foundation, she sees first-hand the major impact being made to benefit children, adults, parents, their extended families, and the community.
“We race so that our loved ones with autism and other special needs,” she said, “can enjoy the same opportunities and acceptance as their peers.”
As in previous years, at the Race for Resources, there will be beaming parents, and their extended families, clad in a sea of brightly-colored T-shirts with the names of their more than 50 fundraising teams that come out to support the Autism Cares Foundation.
The Race for Resources, one of the non-profit group’s major fundraising events, includes a 5K, 10K, Family Walk and Autism Expo of local service providers, as well as numerous family-friendly activities, including: face painting, a video game bus, an obstacle course, and a gourmet lunch provided by Bloomin Brands (Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill).
The Autism Cares Foundation’s Glee Club, made up of teens and adults with autism, will again be front and center to give an uplifting and memorable performance of the National Anthem.
These programs and activities include sensory-friendly movies, bounce and trampoline parties, teen prom and other dances, holiday-themed parties, weekly fitness classes, Glee Club, and much, much more.
To date, the Autism Cares Foundation has held more than 1,000 events, social programs, and life enrichment opportunities, which have benefited more than 900 local families. In 2017, the Autism Cares Foundation hosted more than 200 events social programs, and life enrichment opportunities, which have benefited more than 4500 people.
The non-profit Autism Cares Foundation, located in Southampton, PA., was started by loving mom Linda Kuepper and her husband Frank, after their younger son, Michael, now 20, was diagnosed with autism before his third birthday.
As in past years, the Kuepper family’s team, Special K, will be raring to go, and Michael will enjoy the high-energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. “The Race for Resources is so important to our family because we run in honor of our loving son, Michael,” explained Linda Kuepper.
“As parents, each of us wants the best for our sons and daughters, which means a happy and fulfilling life,” she said. “It brings us so much joy to be able to provide this each and every day, for our son, his friends, and their families.”