A Heartfelt Thank-You

A Heartfelt Thank-You

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

A heartfelt thanks to all of the community groups, businesses and corporations who lent their support to help make the 7th annual Cure Autism Now Run/Walk on July 4th in Potomac Village an enormous success. This year, the event raised a record $215,000-plus for autism research (and an additional $25,000 in in-kind support), included a record 2,000-plus participants, 75 volunteers, and several hundred spectators. Thanks also to the many individual and family supporters. In addition, 53 teams participated and helped us raise more than $100,000. Shant’s Striders and Team Lucas combined to raise more than $40,000! On an added note, we surpassed the $1 million dollar mark in dollars raised over the last seven years.

A special thanks to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18) for taking time out of their holiday schedule to attend the event. Four additional individuals continue to deserve recognition for all that they do to support this community event over the years. They are Adam Greenberg from Potomac Pizza and Potomac Village Deli, Alex Scofield from the Almanac, Bill Schlossenberg from the Gazette, and Steve Kirstein of BOWA Builders. We would also like to thank the Potomac Giant, Safeway and Whole Foods for their continued generosity. So many of the national franchises in our area no longer participate in community events, so we are especially grateful to the local businesses that support this event and continue to give back to the many causes that affect our community. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Jeff Grolig and Ian Rickerby at River Falls Seafood for their incredible generosity over the years. Additional thanks go to Jimmy Fragoyannis at Mamma Lucia’s for being a great friend to the cause. Finally, thank you to Mark Livingstone and the volunteer firefighters at our local fire station for joining us on race day to help assure the safety of all participants.

Thank you to First American Title Insurance Company for serving as our presenting sponsor for the last several years. Additional supporters included the following:

Ann Taylor, Amanda Amante, Ballroom Balloons.com, Bank of America, Belina Boutique, Bezu, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Blush/Wink Boutiques, BOWA Builders, Cabin John Fire Department, Café Deluxe, Cava, Centro, Chapter One Book Club, Cheeburger, Cheeburger, Cheesecake Factory, Chicken Out – Do Good Foundation, Chipolte, Cintrine Bethesda Spa, Coakely Realty, Colella Photography, Comcast, Daisy Baby, Daisy Two, DC Coast, Design at Large, Dr. Amy Light, Drinkmore Water, DuFour & Orens, Dunkin Donuts, Elie Pisarra Cain, Euromotor Cars, Family Orthopedics of Northern VA, Five Guys, Flaps, Fleet Feet of Gaithersburg, Fred Foster Fitness Company, George Bacchus Salon, Giffords Ice Cream, Gomadic, Good Earth, Goodman-Gable-Gould Adjusters International, Happy Body Massage, Hunter’s Inn, Jade Billows, Kelly’s Purses, Ledo’s Pizza, Mamma Lucia Restaurants, Metro Run & Walk, Montgomery Orthopedics, Nage, O’Keefe Family Foundation, Inc., Pacers, P & G Movies, Plants Etc., Potomac Day Spa, Potomac Giant, Potomac Library, Natural Day Spa, Potomac Pizza, Potomac Village Deli, Potomac Presbyterian Church, Potomac Village Shopping Center, Proaction Physical Therapy, Propel, Red Lobster, Renato’s, River Falls Seafood, Safeway, Inc., Scott & Patrice Brickman, Shant’s Striders, Shoe Train, Silverman & Associates, Chartered, SmithPoint, Spalon, Day Spa, Spring Mill Bakery, Sterling Chevrolet, Strosniders Hardware, Team Lucas, The Ayanian Family Charitable Foundation, The Beauregard Family, The Gazette, The Palm, The Potomac Almanac, The Schneider Family, The Wilde Family, The William’s Family Charitable Fund, Titus Trash, Tom Grooms at Smooth Jazz 105.9, Totally Polished, Tree Top Toys, US Oncology, Wetzels Pretels, Whole Foods.

Recently the Centers for Disease Control released new figures indicating that autism affects 1 in 150 children. The numbers are staggering and indicate that we indeed have a national epidemic. As you may know earlier this year, Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks merged to form a more powerful voice for this cause. Next year we will come together on Thursday July 4th for the 8th annual Autism Speaks - Run 2008. With this event, we hope to surpass $250,000. We can only do it with your help.

As a community, your proactive partnership for this cause has been awe-inspiring. This level of community support proves that we can — together — continue to do our part to make the dream of curing autism a reality.

Susan Pereles

Race Director