OUR AUTISM JOURNEY
Through our fundraisers, we hope to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families who live with autism. It is our wish that autism awareness will bring autism acceptance. With this acceptance, those affected by autism can best live happy, successful, quality lives; and learn that autism does not define who they are…they define autism.
A few years ago, our young son, Mark, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the first things we did was research every possible source of information and support for families and individuals living with Autism. To our great surprise, there are indeed many resources and support services available throughout our local and nearby communities as well as throughout our state.
One of those resources in our state is the Autism Society of North Carolina. They not only offered programs to help guide us along the way, they also directed us to other services who help with diagnosis, functional evaluation and recommendations for making progress both in the immediate and throughout life.
We quickly learned that early diagnosis and education are critical in helping people detect, identify and effectively manage the symptoms of Autism. We were also happy to learn that Autism IS manageable, and that people living with ASD can be helped to reach their highest level of function and enjoyment in life. We found a local pre-school program to help our Mark get a jump on his educational needs. And we were even happier to learn that our own local Avery County school system provides excellent educational support for Mark. Today our re”MARK”able son is making great strides, receiving awards and praise for his accomplishments—such as achieving straight As and making the A Honor Roll in school--and…most of all…enjoying his young years in school with his peers.
We were so pleased with these support services and the progress we were able to make for Mark that we decided it would be even more fulfilling to find a way to give back. And that was the inspiration for our first “Wine For a Reason” fundraising event held at the beautiful Linville Falls Winery. Our first event in the Spring of 2014 was fabulous and has only grown in success. As of now, we’ve been fortunate to raise over $26,000 for the Autism Society of North Carolina, and see an ever-brighter future ahead for such fundraising events.
Recently we’ve been exploring new ways to extend and expand the potential for this type of fundraising strategy. We’ve decided to take the initial “For A Reason” concept and open the doors to partner with or create new fundraising events that can draw even more donors to the cause. In the near future we’ll be announcing our progress along these lines and promoting those events as they evolve.
It’s important to know that 100% of monies raised either at our events or through this website are donated directly to the Autism Society of North Carolina. No operational or event expenses are deducted. Any event or operational costs are either covered by us or through the generous donations of supporters.
Thank you for your kind and generous support.
Eddie, Rebecca and Mark Hurst