The Bowling for Autism Tournament was a huge success, according to Autism Society of N.C. Richmond County Chapter Chair Emily Tucker.
“As the parent of a child with Autism, to see the amount of support coming from the community was very emotional for me,” said Tucker. “I could barely do the introduction speech, I was so choked up.”
Over 100 people showed up to bowl at the tournament. The event raised $1,500, with $500 more promised. All proceeds from the event benefited the Richmond County Chapter.
Among the teams represented were: Coldwell Banker; Realty World; Sheriff Clemmons; Trinity Manufacturing; and City of Rockingham.
“Donna Blake was our team organizer,” said Caroline Thomas, of Thomas Realty. “She serves as a Chamber Ambassador, and because Emily Tucker and her son are so near and dear to our hearts we really wanted to help support this cause.”
The funds will be used to send autistic children in the county to Camp Royall, the nation’s oldest and largest summer camp program for people on the autism spectrum.
“The cost to send a child to camp, for five days, is around $1,600 - although the camp does make adjustments according to income,” said Tucker.
Tucker said the Chapter hopes to raise enough funds by camp registration deadline, next year, to send all the children from the Chapter group around the same time.
“If not, we will just figure out a way to take turns until every child who wants to go has been,” said Tucker.
Richmond Service League volunteered at the event, which was held at Striker’s Bowling Center.
The group is organizing a pancake breakfast as the next fundraiser, but have no firm details on that yet.
“One out of every 110 children born today are diagnosed with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Tucker. “It’s important that we direct sufficient resources and attention to a disorder that over 50,000 individuals are living with in N.C.”
The Autism Society of N.C. Richmond County Chapter meets the second Saturday of January, March, May, July, September and November at 10 a.m. at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital.
Staff writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com