NEWTOWN >> As the president of the new Bucks County Community College’s Disability Pride Club, Matt Young takes a tremendous personal interest in the upcoming Race for Resources hosted by the Autism Cares Foundation (ACF).
Young, a Bucks County Community College (BCCC) sports management major, wants everyone in the community to care about and advocate for people with special needs because this outreach means so much to the 21-year-old.
Diagnosed with autism at age five, and overcoming naysayers and obstacles through the years, Young is happy to be participating in the 10th Annual Race for Resources on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Bucks County Community College in Newtown.
“There needs to be an awareness for people with autism and all kinds of disabilities,” Young explained, “and this race is the perfect opportunity to do this.”
Christina McGinley, BCCC’s Assistant Director of Foundation and Alumni Relations, said the college was pleased to reach out to its students, staff, and alumni. This is the third year that the Race for Resources is being held at the college.
“Autism Cares Foundation offers a great service to the community and its residents. Supporting our community is very important to the college and the Alumni Association,” McGinley said. “We are proud to support ACF’s efforts and to have a role in this.”
Several thousand participants are gearing up to run, walk, connect, learn, and bond while promoting acceptance and love for all children, teens, and adults; especially our loved ones with autism and other special needs.
They will gather at the beautiful BCCC campus, located at 275 Swamp Road in Newtown, for the 5K and 10K that run through picturesque Tyler State Park.
The Race for Resources is one of ACF’s major fundraisers and it allows the Bucks County-based nonprofit to serve more than 5,000 people through 200 FREE events held annually. This is done with the help of dedicated volunteers and donations and sponsorships from local individuals, businesses and corporations.
Young will man a table with several other student volunteers during the race and will be joined by Lisa Werstler of the BCCC Future Teachers of America, as well as other students, staff, the Alumni Association, and other friends of the college.
“I think that people, in general, are quick to judge other people, but then once they get to know them, they can see past any quirks or labels,” Werstler said.
Werstler, an education major whose nephew has autism, said that she is excited about assisting as much as possible at the upcoming Race for Resources. Attending the race is thrilling because “everyone has an important role to play, and it makes me feel really good seeing so many like-minded individuals supporting a cause that they are so passionate about and to see all of the smiling faces.”
ACF Co-founder and CEO Linda Kuepper is grateful for the involvement of BCCC and the enthusiasm from the students, staff, and alumni for sharing the vital message of acceptance and inclusion.
“ACF always strives to do its best for all of its special friends,” she said. “Going forward we need to continue on the path to provide these vital events and activities for our loved ones of all ages,” she said.
The ACF Race for Resources features something for everyone – a certified race course for the 5K and 10K, as well as a 1-mile Family Walk and Expo.
There is a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment, including a DJ, moon bounce, video games truck, face-painting, refreshments and more.
“We race so that our loved ones with autism and other special needs can enjoy the same opportunities and acceptance as their peers,” explained ACF Executive Director Jacqui Makowski.
“Whether you choose to build a team, run, walk, donate, sponsor, or present at our Expo, your partnership with Autism Cares Foundation enables us to sustain a calendar of events full of inclusion, acceptance, and support for children, teens, and adults with autism and other special needs,” Makowski added.
The Expo opens at 7:30 a.m. The Race for Resources kickoff is 9 a.m. So, lace up your sneakers and join us!
For further information, visit RaceforResources.org.