Family-friendly fun was the order of the day Oct. 23rd at the Sixth Annual Walk in the Park for Abilis in Greenwich Point Park. Approximately 1,000 people enjoyed a beautiful fall day and activities in support of Abilis, the nonprofit that serves people of all ages in Greenwich and Stamford with autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
Honorary Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, the morning television personality; Afton Fraser, author of “Point to Happy,” written for children with autism; Dianna Downs Smith, chairwoman of the 2011 Walk; and Walk Ambassador Greg Beaurline cut the ribbon at the start line and sent walkers on their way. Also on hand were U.S. Congressman Jim Himes, Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei and state Representatives Fred Camillo of Greenwich and Dan Fox of Stamford.
“This is Abilis’ 60th anniversary, and our walk made it a year to remember,” said Lolli Ross, Abilis executive director. “The Walk in the Park for Abilis just keeps getting better and better!
“Chairwoman Dianna Downs Smith and her committee really outdid themselves, with lots of new features and special touches that made the Abilis Walk a lovely community event to support people in need who live right here in our communities.”
New attractions included an expanded gift tent, with candles, organic soaps, beaded jewelry and Halloween gifts, and tie-dyed reusable bags and T-shirts — all hand made by adults with intellectual disabilities who are supported by Abilis Employment Services. Abilis plans to open a gift shop at its Glenville headquarters in 2012.
Children’s activities included children’s hair designs, face painting, crafts, a bounce castle, bubble trays and costume characters.
Porricelli’s Market and Nestle Waters provided healthy snacks for the walkers. Sponsors included FXCM, the Leterman-Gortz Corp., Mr. and Mrs. David Wallace, Dianna and Bret Smith, Partner Re, MKM Partners, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Berkley Jr. and Lynne and Scott Smith. Mancuso Electric, J&S Sweet Success, The Advocate/Greenwich Time, Children’s Medical Group of Greenwich, Rink & Racquet, Black Rock and Red Carpet Entertainment also were sponsors of the Walk in the Park for Abilis.