Autism Organization Beats Heat and Breaks Fundraising Record

By Aileen Kornblatt
Plainsboro, NJ – Eden Autism Services’ 10th annual Eden Autism 5k Race and 1-Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Munich Re, took place on July 14th and shattered last year’s fundraising record with $165,000 in net proceeds! 
Held at the Princeton Forrestal Village, the event was filled with plenty of fun and entertainment, including music, games and prizes.  Despite the 90 plus degree morning, a flag ceremony with recent Eden school graduates and a beautiful rendition of our national anthem sung by the brother of an Eden graduate, brought chills to the large crowd of runners, volunteers and spectators.  
The 5K began with a shotgun start by Plainsboro Mayor Peter Cantu.  At the Awards ceremony, 5K Race Director Curt Emmich of Princeton Forrestal Center thanked the dozens of individuals and companies who sponsored the race and/or provided in-kind donations. 
“We are extremely grateful to all those who contributed to help make this race a success,” says Emmich.  “Thanks to our generous community, we have exceeded last year’s record-breaking proceeds.”
Emmich also acknowledged the Eden Autism 5K committee, which did a fantastic job putting this extensive event together. 
Dr. Tom McCool, President & CEO of Eden Autism Services, thanked those in attendance and introduced Tony Kuczinski, Chairman and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America.  Munich Re has served as the primary sponsor of the Eden 5K for the past five years.  To date Munich Re employees and interns have raised nearly $90,000 for the Eden 5K through various fundraising efforts since 2009. 
 “1 in 88 children in the United States have some form of autism.  In New Jersey it’s 1 in 49.  Eden’s mission is to improve the lives of children, adults and families with autism. It is with the help of people like you that those affected can receive the quality education and quality care that they deserve,” said Kuczinski.
The first place male finisher was 19 year old Glen Bortolus of West Windsor, a member of the Roundview Running Owls team.  He ran the course in 17 minutes 09 seconds.  The first place female finisher was 27 year old Sara Amitrani of Kingston. She ran the course in 19 minutes 36 seconds.  
 Eden Adult Services participant Chris Dougherty, 28, of Howell, NJ, received an award for being the first Eden participant finisher.  He ran the race in 33 minutes 49 seconds.  Dougherty is employed through one of Eden’s adult employment centers. Also participating in the event were the Windrows Wonders.  The Windrows Wonders are a team of walkers from the Princeton Windrows, a retirement independent living community located in Princeton adjacent to Princeton Forrestal Village.  For the sixth consecutive year, the Windrows Wonders have participated in the Eden Fun Run and have raised nearly $30,000 for Eden
About Eden
The not-for-profit Eden Autism Services is a primary resource for autism information, education, training and support services for individuals with autism, families, educators and healthcare professionals. Founded in 1975, Eden’s mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with autism and their families by providing a range of community-based services to meet specific needs throughout the lifespan.  Programs include early intervention, education, employment training and residential services for children and adults with autism.  Eden’s highly trained clinicians offer in-person and online workshops, conferences and webinars as well as in-home therapy services, evaluations and consultations.  For more information about Eden visit www.edenautism.org or call (609) 987-0099.  Follow Eden on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.