I have been privileged to work with young children who have special needs for the last several years. Some of these children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Working with these wonderful children has been, and continues to be, one of the best experiences I have ever had. I feel blessed to in some way (big or small), make a difference in their lives by helping them work through their daily tasks in the classroom. Their spirit and positive outlook have been an inspiration to me. Enough so that I am now working on a Master's Degree in Special Education. I ran my first Chicago Marathon in 2005 and been running in it ever since. Kevin ran his first in 2006 and he too coninues to run in it. I also ran the Miami Half Marathon and as you can see from this photo Kevin and I ran in the Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon this past August.
Ever since Darlene got out of the corporate world and began working with special needs students, I have been in awe of her and the work she does. Darlene is truly doing incredible work with these children and makes a difference in their lives. However, like many of these situations, one person can only do so much. Like anything, these organizations need money to fund research and to provide a multitude of services to help families with special needs children. When Darlene decided to run marathons and, at the same time, raise money for the Organization for Autism Research, she put me in awe again. However, this time I was able to do something about it. Run with her. I have now completed two marathons and a half marathon. Although I am a slow poke, I am ready for the next one. This time, I too would like to raise money for this truly wonderful cause.
Our Joint Message:
Kevin and I realize that you have many choices when deciding where to make your charitable contributions. We hope you will consider this cause. Thanks to so many of you, I raised $8,275 for the Organization for Autism Research in 2007 and was ranked #3 in dollars raised. I could not have done that without those of you who donated last year. This year, both Kevin and I have joined forces and would like to be ranked #1. Please help us achieve our goal.
-a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact socially.
-More prevelent than Down Syndrome, childhood diabetes and childhood cancer combined
-estimated to occut in as many as 1 in 166 births and affect 1.7 milliom children and adults in the U.S. today.
Research, like OAR-sponsored studies, is needed to find answers and provide practical solutions for those with autism today.
This organization was founded 2001 with the goal of funding research for issues affecting the autism community, involving parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum. You can look at their organization and research projects on their website at http://www.researchautism.org/.
Thank you for visiting my Personal Fundraising Page. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a contribution to my fundraising efforts. Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Or, if you're not comfortable donating on-line, you can send your donation check by regular mail made out to "The Organization for Autism Research" at:
Organization for Autism Research
2000 North 14th Street, Suite 710
With sincere gratitude,
Darlene and Kevin Kolton