The annual Abilis Walk and Run took place on Sunday, October 14. Abilis is an organization that helps over 700 members with disabilities learn helpful social skills, housing skills, and life skills.
The three-mile run started at 9:00 a.m. and the one-mile walk started at 11:00 a.m. Adults and children participated in exciting team-building events such as Carnival for a Cause, run by the Abilis Youth Board.
“Being apart of the Abilis Youth Board is such a great opportunity, as we take part in creating events, like the walk, that include people no matter what disability they have. Volunteering at the walk was amazing. It was so great to see all the clients and their families having so much fun! There was a prominent sense of community and acceptance there, which made it so special,” Zoe Karukas (’19) said.
Karukas has been a Youth Board member since her junior year.
An event like the Abilis Walk and Run affects the entire community. With this year’s addition of Jones’ Carnival for a Cause, the younger and older members of the community were able to partake in easy and fun games such as ring toss, cornhole, and lollipop pull. The prizes ranged from stickers to erasers and pencils.
“Since I usually host my annual Carnival for a Cause event in my front yard, this year was a huge step forward for me to get out in the public. It was surreal to see my own logo on signs, shirts, and banners. I love helping Abilis because I have two brothers with special needs and I know that it is no easy job to take care of them every day. The event went perfectly, and I am so grateful for everyone that made it possible,” Daniella Jones, the founder of Carnival for a Cause, said.
Educating the next generation is essential for foundations like Abilis. As the word spreads about what they are trying to do, they are able to expand their reach and help even more people.
“It is important to have events like this so people in the general community can be exposed and learn from these individuals with specials needs. It provides a mutual beneficiary relationship. The people with special needs can work on their social skills while the people coming to the walk can educate themselves on special needs and educate their kids on the issues they face,” Ries Allyn (’19) said.
Each of the lower Fairfield County High Schools participated in a friendly fundraiser competition for the first annual Challenge Cup. Sacred Heart won the trophy with a grand total of 454 dollars, and the combined total from all the schools was 1,870 dollars. These funds will go to covering the cost of food, providing shelter and rides, therapy, and a variety of other services.