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Annual Cody Walk for Autism April 25

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CodyWalkBannerThe fifth annual Cody Center Walk for Autism and Developmental Disabilities will take place Sunday, April 25, at Stony Brook. For the first time, this year’s event will feature music and dance performances by the FREE Players, a talented group of adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. The walk will kick off at 9:30 am at the Charles B. Wang Center.

All proceeds from the walk will support education and community programs at the Matt and Debra Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Stony Brook University. On Long Island, approximately 80,000 people have been diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The Cody Center is committed to caring for many of these individuals and their families from childhood to adulthood.

The 2.2-mile route circles the academic mall on campus and returns to the Wang Center. Inside the Wang Center will be resource tables and games and activities for children. A 20-minute performance by the FREE Players in the Wang Center stars adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Each year, the FREE Players perform several professional-level musical productions. Celebrating 30 years, the Bethpage-based Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) organization helps individuals of all abilities realize their full potential.

The 2010 Cody Walk will also honor a local family, the Athans-Campolo family of Setauket. Their son, Christian, is five years old and has autism. The Cody Center cares for Christian, who began kindergarten this school year and has an aide in the classroom. The Athans-Campolo family has depended on the Cody Center workshops to educate themselves about autism and to network with other families.

The walk will be held rain or shine. The fee is $20 per adult, free for students and children. For more information or to register, call 632-3744. To register online or to make a donation, visit www.codycenter.org.

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