The South Plainfield Mayor’s Wellness Committee and the South Plainfield Public Library in conjunction with community volunteers hosted the Borough’s first Autism Awareness event at the South Plainfield Public Library on Sunday April 29, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. This “Afternoon of Awareness” was designed to help connect parents with important resources in order to help navigate the sometimes overwhelming labyrinth of information that families affected by this disorder can face.

According to the latest report from the CDC Autism now affects 1 in 34 children in NJ, which is the highest in the nation. The Mayor’s Wellness Committee Chair Debbie Boyle, Councilwoman Christine Faustini and Library Director Linda Hansen collaborated with community activists Danielle Staunton and Jessica Spina to arrange for an afternoon of activities and information. Representatives from Parents of Autistic Children (POAC), Bedrock Clinic & Research Center and Common Ground Support Group were on hand together with South Plainfield’s Special Olympics coaches Brittany Lillis and Heather Hearne-Pascale as well as children’s meditation teacher Aimee Goyette to provide information to parents and caregivers.

Children enjoyed a storytime featuring This is Logan, a book written and read by Staunton. They also had the opportunity to make Mind Jars at the craft station, and were treated to balloon creations by “Au”-some Balloon Artist Eddie Lin. The afternoon culminated in the presentation of a proclamation by Mayor Matthew Anesh and a spectacular indoor balloon release. Special thanks to SPASA for donating water bottles and treats both at the Mayor's Wellness Health Fair and the Autism Awareness Event,  Georgeann Cochrane of Mohn’s florist for donating the balloons, ribbons, and helium tank,  Stephanie Bartfalvi and Mustafa Beg for inflating all of them, and Design My Door & More – Casey’s Creations for their donation of an Autism themed wreath.