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Mary Cariola Children's Center holds 11th annual walk

Sep 24, 2017

Credit marycariola.org

Mary Cariola Children's Center is hosting its annual fundraiser Sunday at Penfield’s Veterans Memorial Park.

The 11th year of the “Walking on Sunshine” fundraiser helps raise money for children with multiple complex disabilities.

CEO Karen Zandi says it’s a family event that funds the center’s school, residencies and community services; and is more social than exercise.

The organization supports youth with a range of disabilities including autism.

"Over half of our population is children who have autism and have high behaviors that go along with that. If they are challenged with their communication, we use a lot of technology to facilitate communication with our kids."

As a nonprofit organization, they do get funding from the state and Medicaid, but the rest comes from this fundraiser.

Zandi says their latest project is building a new house.

“Nine bedrooms, eight of our current residents will move into a new facility and the ninth bedroom will be for individuals to come and stay for short stays with us so that their families can have a break."

The center hopes to raise upwards of $150,000 this year.

Registration is at 9:30 am with the walk beginning at 10:30am on Atlantic Avenue in Penfield.