Thil Schwarz, former board member of the Autism National Committee and former Vice-President of the Asperger/Autism Network is the confirmed guest speaker at the fourth annual Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Fundraiser event hosted by the Bethany Leapley Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Fund on Saturday, April 22nd at 7pm at St. Barbara’s Church in Orange.
Schwarz will be presenting “Autism Inside Out: My Family, My Community and I,” a personal reflection of his own experience with autism. A parent of a current scholarship recipient will also share the impact the ASD Fitness Center has had on her son. The event, emceed by award-winning Fox CT News Reporter Tony Terzi, will also include live acoustic music by The Mediums, hors d’oeuvres catered by Orange’s popular Ola Restaurant, desserts donated by Thurston Foods, Inc., a selection of fine wine donated by Connecticut distributors, as well as an assortment of craft beer donated by a local distributor, and a silent auction including coveted tickets to the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s 2018 Black Tie National Awards Dinner, Red Sox tickets, and much more.
Funds raised from the previous three annual events currently fund scholarships for individuals, allowing them to receive one-on-one personal training and attend small adaptive group classes at the ASD Fitness Center in Orange, CT. The ASD Fitness Center is a ground-breaking facility and service providing a safe, comfortable, and structured environment for empowering ASD individuals to improve their level of physical fitness, nutrition and social/emotional well-being.
Currently in its third year, the ASD Fitness Center has demonstrated that the result of exercising for those with ASD provides a boost in confidence, improved social awareness, and decreased anxiety. “We are grateful to everyone who participates in the annual benefit which enables us to continue, and hopefully increase, the number of scholarships offered each year,” said Adam Leapley, co-founder of the ASD Fitness Center.
The Bethany Leapley ASD Scholarship Fund, established by Adam and Dedra Leapley in honor of Adam’s mother who fought a 25-year battle against breast cancer, was created to provide financial assistance to those who cannot afford supervised training and adaptive group classes including karate, yoga, circuit cardio, strength and training, team building and Zumba-type classes at the ASD Fitness Center in Orange. The concept of the importance of exercise for those with special needs, as introduced by the ASD Fitness Center, has been embraced by many people and organizations throughout New Haven and Fairfield Counties. Several local schools are utilizing ASD Fitness Center as their provider for adaptive P.E. programs for their special needs students. Chapel Haven, known for its’ award winning program for serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, has also partnered with the ASD Fitness Center to offer an adaptive fitness program for the adults they serve. The ASD Fitness Center not only provides fitness, it is a place where individuals and their families find comfort, connection and community.
“The annual Wine & Craft Beer Tasting event has something for everyone and we have received great feedback about this annual event from the community, businesses, philanthropists, and friends and family of those with ASD,” said Leapley. “It has been sold out each year and we encourage those interested to secure their tickets right away via the Bethany Leapley ASD Fund website. Our goal is to help as many adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as possible and the scholarship fundraisers help us reach people who do not have the means for this unique and impactful type of support.”
For questions about the Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Fundraiser or the ASD Fitness Center, please email ASDScholarship@gmail.com. To learn more about the Bethany Leapley ASD Scholarship Fund, for event tickets or donations, go to www.BethanyLeapleyASDFund.org. To learn more about the ASD Fitness Center, please visit www.asdfitnesscenter.com.
Those looking to support the fundraiser in other ways can donate to the silent auction or sponsor the event at one of four levels: Platinum $5000 (Full page program ad, table of 10, banner identification, and website and social media identification); Gold $3000 (Half Page program ad, table of 10, banner identification, and website and social media identification); Silver $1500 (Quarter page ad, table of 8, banner identification, and website and social media identification); and Bronze $500 (Quarter page ad, banner identification, and website & social media identification).