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May 17, 2023

The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence Foundation (, held the 16th annual walk to promote acceptance of Autism Spectrum Disorders on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall in Potsdam, N.Y. There were over 325 people in attendance and thanks to community support as well as sponsorship, the fundraiser had a profit of over $25,000.

“We continue to be impressed by the generosity of area donors and our business partners,” stated Michelle Carpenter, Foundation Executive Director. “Thanks to guidance from the people we support, we moved the date of the Walk to April and are so pleased that we increased both attendance and contributions this year. Our community truly is amazing!”
The event was hosted by WWNY-TV’s Jeff Cole. The top fund-raising teams included: Team SOTA, Rose Bud, and Team Jackson. The top individual fund raiser was Carmella Scott.

This year’s theme was “Star Wars” and there were costume and flag contests. The costume contest winners included: Oliver Borrelli, Alexandra Gorski, Brady Miller, Jeremiah Atchie, Nathan Miller, and Jennifer Hartman. The flag contest winning teams were: Best Overall-Team Flackville, and Most Creative-Team Relay Ball USA, with an honorable mention for Team Trory.

Event sponsors for Autism Acceptance Walk include: OneDigital; Caskinette Ford; Community Bank, Haylor, Freyer, and Coon; New York State Industries for the Disabled; WWNYTV; United Food Services Group & Performance Food Service; Alesco Advisors; EDF Renewables; Kinney Drugs Foundation; Stewart’s Shops; North Country Savings Bank; Merkley Brothers; Potsdam Elks BPOE #2074, St. Lawrence Supply; J.C. Merriman’s, Inc.; Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers; Walmart; Clarkson’s Physical Therapy Dept., Clarkson’s Occupational Therapy Dept., and SUNY Potsdam’s Men’s Hockey Team.

The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence’s Bridges Program provides individualized services for people with developmental disabilities starting at three years old with a specialization in the Autism Spectrum. Students participate in a variety of skill development activities addressing social, daily living, and academic skills using principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Additionally, services are offered in the child’s home, in the community, and in their school. For more information on these programs, visit

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In the photo from left to right: Jeff Cole, Colin Singh, Greta Bellardini, and Elroy the Elk.

Autism Acceptance Walk 2023


About The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence:
The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence seeks to be the premier provider of services for people with diverse needs through the continuum of life.