Autism Awareness to Benefit From Woman's Efforts
Michelle Waiser is working to raise funds for the Special Olympics.
She has personal experience with autism, and is actively involved with Special Olympics New Jersey, and now Bridgewater resident Michelle Waiser is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the Green Giants team as it heads to the organization’s annual Snow Bowl.
“Since its inception six years ago, the Snow Bowl has raised more than $500,000 to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey,” she said. “The success of this event directly helps more than 22,000 athletes who train and compete free-of-charge, year-round in 24 Olympic-type sports.”
Waiser said she received an email about the 2013 event with the Special Olympics, and decided to dedicate time to raising money for the local team to attend.
“I spoke with a few friends who I knew were affected by autism, football fans, and were dedicated to helping raise money for the event, that is how my team is put together,” said Waiser, whose daughter, Jadyn, was diagnosed with autism at age 2.
So now, Waiser is organizing a fundraiser at Il Forno Restaurant Dec. 11 to help raise funds for the Green Giants.
“We are also selling paper medals at Jims Pretzels on Main Street in Manville for $1 each to help raise money for the cause,” she said. “More fundraisers are being planned for early 2013.”
Il Forno, on Route 28 in Branchburg, has agreed to donate to the team 10 percent of the bill from everyone who eats there Dec. 11. Anyone participating must also bring in a copy of the fundraiser flyer or mention “Special Olympics” to the server in order for the 10 percent to be given.
Waiser has been participating in the Special Olympics—with the 7th Annual New York Football Giants Snow Bowl being held March 1 through March 3 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford—for the past six years, when her daughter was 3 years old.
“She loves the competition and the friends she has made,” Waiser said on the team’s website. “It’s wonderful to see Special Olympics New Jersey provide so many opportunities for every athlete at a local and state level, and beyond.”
The money raised at the fundraiser, plus any that has been collected for the Green Giants thus far, will go to the Snow Bowl Special Olympics for autism.
Last year, Waiser said, there were 1,380 flag football players over the three days of games, plus hundreds of spectators in the stands.
The games themselves, Waiser said, are 6-on-6 flag football tournaments, with different divisions over the three days, including a Law Enforcement/Fire Fighter Competitive and Recreation Division, and COED and Recreation Division.
“Teams are allowed up to 15 players, and all must be 18 years of age or older to participate," she said. “Field size is 20 yards by 40 yards, with each team guaranteed three games on the field in the MetLife Stadium.”
The Green Giants team, Waiser said, is currently in fourth place for fundraising. At this point, they team have earned $1,128.
Waiser said they are looking for local restaurants and vendors to help continue raising money and awareness, and proceeds collected by the team benefits Special Olympics New Jersey athletes.
“Our overall goal is to reach $5,000 and be the top fundraising team,” she said. “All monies collected go toward the team total to help them reach their fundraising goal.”
For more information, or to help the Green Giants team, click here to go to their team page.
Checks can also be sent directly to the Snow Bowl, Special Olympics New Jersey, 3 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
All donations are tax deductible.