The final tally is in, and the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey’s (ESCNJ) 5th Annual Autism Awareness Swim & Play fundraiser on behalf of Autism New Jersey raised $16,879.91, leading the state for the third year in a row.

“Once again, many people worked extremely hard to make this fundraiser a success,” said Kate Dauphinee, coordinator of the event and site director of the ESCNJ Aquatics & Fitness Center.

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

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The day featured a swim-a-thon, with swimmers collecting pledges from sponsors based on the number of laps completed. In addition, kids of all ages enjoyed an open swim in the activity pool, arts and crafts, games, a bounce house, and an obstacle course. There was also a Vendor’s Fair, “drive in” movie, and assorted food and beverages.

The Aquatics & Fitness Center is part of the ESCNJ, which operates six Middlesex County schools for students ages 3-21 with autism, moderate to severe disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, in addition to extending services to school districts statewide. The largest Educational Services Commission in the state, the ESCNJ also coordinates transportation services for over 10,000 students, and manages an 1,100 member Co-op Pricing System, the largest cooperative buying program in New Jersey.