For the 6th straight year,The Educational Services Commission of New Jersey's (ESCNJ) Annual Autism Awareness Swim & Play fundraiser on behalf of Autism New Jersey was a great success.

Total funds raised were approximately $12,000, as a result of pledges for laps completed, T-shirt sales, and families participating in arts and crafts activities.

The event received  additional support from 13 volunteers from the Rutgers Athletics Women’s Tennis, Field Hockey, Swimming and Diving teams.

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“The partnership we are building with Rutgers University will continue to help with our own outreach and community involvement, and provide continued awareness and education about Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said  Kate Dauphinee, coordinator of the event, and site director of the ESCNJ Aquatics & Fitness Center .      

Autism New Jersey is the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.    

This year's event was particularly special in light of the ESCNJ being named Autism New Jersey's Ambassador Program representative for the week of April 20-27,” said Superintendent Mark J. Finkelstein.

“We are grateful for all the volunteers, and the involvement of students from Rutgers Athletics  Women’s Tennis, Field Hockey,  Swimming, and Diving teams,” Mr. Finkelstein added.

This years winner was the Center for Lifelong Learning's  Kristen Policastro, who completed 138 laps (two miles) and  individually raised $900 for the event.

The ESCNJ 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 a 1,200 member Co-op Pricing System, the largest cooperative buying program in New Jersey.