The Educational Services Commission of  New Jersey (ESCNJ) Aquatics & Fitness Center’s annual fundraiser on behalf of  Autism New Jersey has led the way in raising funds the past two years,  and this year’s effort promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Held in conjunction with National Autism Awareness Month, the 5th Annual Autism Awareness Swim & Play fundraiser takes place from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at the ESCNJ Aquatics & Fitness Center, 333 Cheesequake Road, Parlin.

All proceeds go to Autism New Jersey (www.AutismNJ.org), the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Sign Up for E-News

The event raised $14,500 last year, the largest amount ever. However, ESCNJ’s Aquatics & Fitness Center Site Director Katelyn Dauphinee is determined to exceed that figure, enlisting additional support from representatives at four ESCNJ schools that provide services to students with autism.  

“It will be a fun-filled, family-friendly experience,” said Mrs. Dauphinee.

“We’re looking forward to a great event that is bigger than past years, and hope to donate even more to Autism NJ.

The day will feature a swim-a-thon, where swimmers collect pledges from sponsors based on the number of laps completed.   In addition, kids of all ages can enjoy an open swim in the activity pool, arts and crafts, games, a bounce house, and an obstacle course. There will also be a Vendor’s Fair, “drive in” movie, and an assortment of food and beverages.

 Autism t-shirts, along with customized apparel will also be available, and orders can be placed in advance at www.booster.com/GrowingAcceptance.

To accommodate all the activity, space in the Center for Lifelong Learning, in which the ESCNJ Aquatics & Fitness Center is housed, will also be utilized.

There are openings for additional vendors, swimmers, and volunteers, and information is available at www.theaquaticscenter.com/autismawareness, or through Mrs. Dauphinee, at 732-317-0333 Ext. 7786, or kdauphinee@escnj.k12.nj.us.

The ESCNJ Aquatics & Fitness Center is part of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey, which operates six schools with services for students ages 3-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, in addition to offering shared services to special education students statewide. The largest Educational Services Commission in New Jersey, the ESCNJ coordinates transportation services for nearly 14,000 students, and manages a 1,100 member Co-op Pricing System, the state’s largest cooperative buying program.