Special Community Issue: News & Events

ROAR for Autism!

Despite overcast skies, this year's Ride On for Autism Research (ROAR) was a huge success. ROAR is a bike ride, nature hike, and family festival dedicated to raising critically needed funds for autism research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The event, which was held on Sunday, April 27, at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Maryland, was a great way for people to honor the end of Autism Awareness Month. Participants chose to ride 10, 25, or 50 miles, or hike the park's nature trails. Even the kids got in on the fun by taking part in the low-mileage youth ride. A special thanks to Wegman's, our official wellness partner, for their help in making ROAR 2008 such a success.

One of the biggest changes in ROAR this year was the addition of an online fundraising website. Participants were able to create an online fundraising page where they could tell family and friends that they were participating in ROAR, build their own team, post pictures, and track donations. More than 600 people registered online and built their personal pages, and together those participants helped raise more than $80,000 online, bringing the total amount raised to $300,000 to support autism research.


Bands on the Bay

On Sunday, April 27, the third annual Bands on the Bay brought the Chesapeake Bay to life with the sounds of great live music, silent and live auctions, and delicious food and rink. Bands on the Bay is organized by friends and family to honor Jenna Heck, who has been diagnosed with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a disorder characterized by a facial birthmark and neurological abnormalities.

Bands on the Bay was held on Herrington on the Bay in Friendship, Maryland, and featured the Doug Segree Band. Special appearances were made by Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, Maryland's former governor Robert L. Erhlich, the New York Jets' Alan Faneca, the Washington Redskins cheerleaders, and the Crystal Palace USA soccer team. A highlight of the afternoon was auctioneer Robert Campbell, who entertained the crowd while helping raise funds. This year the event raised $170,000 -- critical dollars that the Heck-DeCesaris family donated to the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Sturge-Weber Center to support research and treatment of the disorder.


Library and Media Center Grand Opening

On September 18, a ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the completion of the Library and Media Center at Kennedy Krieger's Montgomery County School. The completion of the media center was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. The Foundation's generous support has provided computers, educational books and videos, assistive technology, and other items designated for the students at the Library and Media Center. The Montgomery County School is exclusively focused on providing critically needed educational services to middle and high school age students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Montgomery County, Maryland.