LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Thursday, April 24, Livingston lit the town blue to raise awareness for Autism. The Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD) and Parents & Professionals for Exceptional Children (PPEC) put together a night to spread awareness and educate the local community about children and their families living with Autism, while also raising funds to provide them and other special needs children with recreational and educational opportunities. Some monies raised will benefit the Livingston Afterschool Programs and Autism Speaks.
Attendees were asked to show their support by wearing blue and purchasing Autism merchandise through PPEC, such as blue lanterns, glow sticks, and refreshments, which were donated by Livingston ShopRite. Members of the Key Club ran the sales table.
Bob Gebroe, chair of LACD and Pam Tepper president of PPEC, facilitated the evening's event.
“The main purpose for the event is to raise awareness in the community, while also creating a memorable night out to celebrate autism,” said Pam Tepper, the president of Parents and Professionals for Exceptional Children.
To show their support, all of the attendees wore blue and participated in a wide range of events throughout the night at the gazebo on the Livingston Oval.
The night kicked off with a speech from Mayor Michael Reiber who thanked those who attended for their support.
Then, at the gazebo, local band Wasted Woods, with members Ethan Diamond, Matt Tepper, Ethan Sternstein, and Alec Gevarter, entertained the crowd, with their music, as everyone chatted, ate, played volleyball, and turned the oval blue with lanterns and beach balls.
People walked around the oval throughout the night, while also enjoying the spread of drinks and snacks donated by Livingston’s Shop Rite. The night ended with closing remarks from Tepper.
“Two years ago, we did this event and got around 75 people,” said Tepper, “our main goal for tonight was just to increase our numbers and have a good time.”
Surely enough, everyone who attended seemed as though they were having a great time enjoying the night as they celebrated Autism with the Livingston community.
The evening culminated with a final walk around the oval, led by blue lanterns shining in the dusk.