The Flying Point Foundation for Autism had a great 2018, continuing to offer programs and services in line with its mission to enrich to the lives of individuals with autism through opportunity and understanding.
A few highlights of 2018:
August brought our annual summer camp that runs 8 days and serves more than 45 individuals. It offers a traditional camp experience with the support needed to make it accessible to those with autism. Campers swim, do yoga, create art, sing and have fun playing noncompetitive sports.
Throughout the year, we offered Rec sessions for our kids, plus some special family events such as Sailing with Autism, and a beach/paddle day at Long Beach, organized by the local Sea Scouts. Rec sessions included bowling, learning about horses, the Long Island Game Farm and so much more.
Four students from the East End earned scholarships from the Flying Point Foundation for Autism. Three were typical students who have demonstrated a commitment to the autism community and one was a student with autism headed to college!
A mentoring program, in collaboration with the Town of Southampton's Youth Bureau was launched and we are working to build this program so that more opportunities are available for those with autism to participate in town-organized youth events. Some programs will be specifically designed for those with autism.
As we do every April, we brought in a representative from ALEC (the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition) to train first responders in the unique nature of an emergency involving and individual with autism. Supported, in part, by Southampton Hospital, the program draws responders from as far at Westchester and brings dozens of volunteers from our own area.
Finally, we continue to pursue our goal of creating an activity/community center for individuals with autism, where they may go with their support staff to enjoy every day activities including gardening, fitness, cooking, video games and more. We are currently working with the Town of Southampton and have high hopes that something will come of it in the year 2019!
The generous support of the Southampton Town Kiwanis and the Southampton Bath and Tennis Charitable Fund are the financial underpinnings of our camp. Without them, we'd be hard-pressed to carry on. Southampton Kiwanis also arranged for and served snow cones at camp in the summer!
Real-Aid for Autism walked through our area and, this year, Tim Motz, husband of FPF President Kim Covell, walked the entire Sunday distance, from the Boardy Barn in Hampton Bays to downtown Montauk. It was a huge feat and kept us in good graces with EJ Foundation for Autism, which again sent us a generous donation.
Our team of cyclists for the 106-mile Bike to the Beach for Autism event has grown. Team members raised money to take the ride from lower Manhattan to East Quogue in June, pulling in more than $23,000 this year! We hope to double our team in 2019, so if you’re looking for a great goal, we’ve got it! The ride has great support along the entire route and a party is waiting for you at the end.
Local schools have embraced annual Give A Buck for Autism campaign, in which students bring home a small flyer that asks for $1 to be sent to school and then the student's name is added to it and the flyer brought back to be hung on a Wall of Support for Autism. We are grateful for bringing awareness to the schools and helping us raise a bit of money along the way. If you'd like your school to participate, please let us know.
Our Lemon-AID stand was replaced with a new one this year, built for us by two local Girl Scouts, Caitlin McSweeney and Emily Glass. Along the way, some donations were made. Their work will help us raise awareness for years to come and our stand is always available to youngsters who wish to give “Refreshing Help for Autism.”
That's a wrap for us on 2018!
We look forward to another amazing and fulfilling year in 2019!