ELIZABETH, NJ - A Union County tradition is going virtual this year to raise crucial funds for services that support people with disabilities and youth-at-risk in a safe and social distance-friendly event.

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) invites members of the community to walk, jog or roll in their neighborhoods or parks in the Ira Geller Virtual Walkathon on September 12 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Supporters around New Jersey are encouraged to represent CAU with an afternoon full of fun wherever they choose to walk! CAU is a Union County-based, statewide nonprofit that works to integrate people with disabilities and youth at risk into the general community through comprehensive supports.

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To register, scan the QR code on the flier image in this article on your smartphone camera, or check out the event listing at caunj.org. Walkers will track their progress on the Nike Run Club app and can fundraise as an individual or team. Participants are encouraged to wear a CAU shirt if they have one and share their walk by tagging CAU in pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

The annual Walkathon is named in memory of Ira Geller, a CAU member who worked tirelessly to raise funds for the agency and its support and services for people with disabilities, and who was known for his commitment to people with special needs.

As vital services like those provided by CAU continue through the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, the organization is working to meet growing and changing needs. Donations will help cover these unexpected expenses and support the safety and wellbeing of members and staff. Make a donation to CAU and learn more at: www.caunj.org/support-us/.

“There is still a cause that we serve and raise funds for, especially at this time when all our events have been cancelled due to COVID-19,” said Saranya Thana, director of fundraising. “Something as small as ten dollars can go a long way, so whatever anyone is able to give, please share that you donated with others.”

CAU members have been spreading the word to let everyone know the Walk will be virtual this year, said member Gary Rubin.

“Even though it’s virtual, it’s important that people participate because it benefits what the agency does for us - it’s a fundraiser that helps us as individuals, so the more fundraising the better,” Rubin said.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses and organizations. To become a sponsor or to learn more about these opportunities, contact Saranya Thana at SThana@caunj.org.