WAG joined hundreds of supporters of BluePath Service Dogs, a nonprofit based in Hopewell Junction, to brave the torrential rain on May 19 to support the organization’s walkathon and its mission of providing service dogs for children with autism.
The second-annual fundraiser, which was held at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights, raised more than $100,000.
“Despite imperfect weather, we were grateful to have an incredible turnout for the event – a true testament to the passion and resilience of the BluePath community,” said Michelle Brier, co-founder of BluePath.
Autism spectrum disorder affects more than 3.5 million Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has been identified with the disorder, up from 1 in 150 in 2000, making it the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S.
Brier said these service dogs can offer children with autism everything from safety and companionship to new opportunities for independence.
Brier founded BluePath in December 2016 with husband-and-wife couple Caroline McCabe-Sandler and Jody Sandler. The trio connected through Yorktown Heights-based Guiding Eyes for the Blind. When Guiding Eyes chose to eliminate its autism service program in 2015, that decision “left an enormous gap in service,” Brier said, one BluePath aims to fill.
For more, visit bluepathdogs.org.