Walk in the Park for Developmental Disabilities Institute A Runaway Success
July 28, 2011
Hundreds of Long Islanders Joined the Fight for Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities
(Smithtown, NY) – Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), the largest service provider for children and adults with autism on Long Island, hosted its annual “Walk in the Park” on Sunday, July 24, to promote community support for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. DDI is expected to raise approximately $30,000 as the money is still coming in to help fund the vital programs and services DDI provides to over 5,000 families served by their educational and residential programs, adult day training and medical services.
Hundreds of Long Islanders came out for the scenic 5K Walk through Suffolk County’s beautiful Holtsville Ecology Park which featured activities for the entire family, followed by a festival in the park complete with food, music, games, prizes, a petting zoo and more. Outback Steakhouse of Holbrook provided the food and their staff donated its time to serve the delicious lunch. Edward Perez, Suffolk County Director of Community Relations, presented DDI with a Proclamation for its 50 years of dedicated service to the community.
“It is truly inspiring to me that each and every year families and friends join DDI at our annual walk to show their support for the children and adults that we serve across Long Island with autism and other developmental disabilities,” stated John Lessard, Executive Director of DDI. “Despite the tough economic times we all face today, it is heartwarming to witness the generosity of the numerous volunteers and the nearly 500 attendees who have lent themselves to help benefit the more than 5,000 adults and children who receive services daily through DDI’s many programs.”
While the list of supporters is long, there are a few people whose efforts cannot go unmentioned: Gallagher Benefit Services; Carter, Deluca, Farrell & Schmidt; Emblem Healthcare; Shore Pharmaceutical Providers; Medford Chemists; Empire Blue Cross; Kaufman Enterprises/McDonalds; RS Racanelli/Spateri GFI Mortgage Bankers, Inc.; Driscoll Foods; Apple & Eve; Bob’s Discount Furniture; Shirley’s Sleep Shoppe; Yorkshire Food Corp; Costco; King Kullen; and Don Jono’s.
DDI is a not-for-profit agency headquartered in Smithtown, NY, with more than 30 locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Serving nearly 1,000 children and adults with a diagnosis of an autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), DDI is the largest provider of services for individuals with Autism on Long Island. It provides educational, vocational, and residential programs, as well as medical and dental services for over 5,000 children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. DDI also operates family-centered preschool programs for both children with disabilities as well as typically developing students. DDI was founded in 1961 by a group of parents to address the special educational and therapeutic needs of their children with autism or other developmental disabilities. DDI is a member agency of the United Way of Long Island. For more information about DDI, visit www.ddiinfo.org.