MILLBURN, NJ - At a recent Millburn Board of Education meeting a presentation was made to share how funds were raised from the Architectural and Real Estate House Tour, an event which benefits Special Services in Millburn Township Public Schools.

Proceeds from the tour enabled four individuals in the district to attend the Autism New Jersey main state conference, which was recently held on Oct. 18 and 19. The district’s three behaviorists, who assist students with Individualized Education Plan (IEP), to the conference. The fourth individual to receive a grant was a self-contained autism teacher from the district. They all shared their takeaways from the conference at the board meeting.

The Architectural and Real Estate House Tour recently held its seventh run. The idea for the tour came from Melanie and Matthew Rosenbaum. Matthew is an architect and Melanie is a realtor. Melanie Rosenbaum works with Keller Williams Premier Properties, and also serves on the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) in town. 

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It is a unique tour that gives community members the chance to view multiple high-end local homes all in one day. Tickets are $30.

It showcases architecture and design in Millburn, and provides a pulse on the local real estate market. The homes on the tour usually have prices typically ranging from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000. At each stop, participants receive a light lunch, other treats, giveaways and door prizes along with literature about autism.

A noteworthy sponsor of the tour was Anthony Verducci, Jr. who works at Sotheby’s International Realty. He jumped at the chance of supporting the event and showcased several homes on the tour. He also provided a sponsorship which sent two of the four individuals that received the grants to the conference.

Arlene Gonnella with Weichert Realty generously contributed as well. Along with having several homes on each tour, her sponsorship sent the other two district professionals to the 2018 conference. Architect Matthew Rosenbaum's  sponsorship will send two district professionals to the Autism NJ transition conference occurring in early 2019.

For perspective, Autism Speaks is the Official National Autism Organization, while Autism New Jersey is the Official State Organization. 

It is the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. This nonprofit organization is committed to providing information, education, awareness, and public policy work to NJ’s autism community. Autism affects one in every 41 children in NJ.

The amount of money being raised is growing each year, with almost $40,000 raised to date. With the funds raised from the tour, Jennifer Sowa, Director of Special Services for Millburn Township Public Schools has had extra money in her budget to allocate for her parental and professional development programs.