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Anthony Nucci's Fundraiser:

AJ's Piece of the Puzzle 2017

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Anthony Nucci


Hello friends and family! Please consider donating to AJ's Piece of the Puzzle in April for Autism Awareness Month. World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2017 . Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. As many of you may know, our son AJ was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in March of 2015. ASD is a complex group of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors in varying degrees. According to the CDC in 2014, ASD affects 1 in 68 children, and a recent survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2015 showed ASD affects as many as 1 in 45 due to increased awareness. There is no known cure, but there are opportunities for bright futures with early intervention. In 2017, for our 2nd annual fundraiser to help bring awareness to autism, AJ's Piece of the Puzzle is working with Snohomish Education Foundation, a non profit 501(c )(3) charity organization (911363896) dedicated to supporting student success. We will be setting up a dedicated grant for the Dutch Hill Elementary School L.I.F.E. (Learning. Independence. Fostering. Excellence.) Program. L.I.F.E. is a special education, behavioral-based program aimed at promoting students success in school and life. AJ has been fortunate enough to become a part of the L.I.F.E. program that serves grades K-6. Students in this program receive daily social skills instruction, while also being an immersed member of general education classes. When AJ was being evaluated for this program last year for his transition from preschool to Kindergarten, we were told to expect approximately 10 minutes a day of general education integration and the rest of his day being in the L.I.F.E. program room. The plan was to have him gradually working towards a full day in general education, while continue participating in weekly social group, and have the L.I.F.E. room as support for more challenging days. We are beaming with pride and gratitude to say that AJ has been attending full day Kindergarten with his general education class from day one, with the diligent teamwork and support of the L.I.F.E program and Kindergarten staff. That is why we have chosen to raise money this year to provide a grant for continued education conferences, materials for the program, and field trips for the kids to put their skills to use, not just in school, but in life, and provide any needs to support the program. AJ is now 5 years old and flourishing academically and growing and adapting socially and behaviorally. AJ has made many new friends, and has a whole team of educators and therapists helping him pave his way. He loves art, music, and playing on the swings. He has a quick wit, learning to read and write, and enjoying all that comes with being a typical 5 year old. He still loves naming the presidents, pretending to be a doctor and a scientist, and now has taken a very special interest in Frank Sinatra's music and style. He still receives vision therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy through his elementary school and outside providers. He loves to travel, visit family, and celebrate each holiday to its fullest. He is simply a joy and a ray of sunshine in our lives. Today, we ask you to join us in kindly making a tax deductible donation to AJ’S Piece of the Puzzle and shine your light on autism during Autism Awareness Month. Your donation will allow us to pay-it-forward to a program, and its advocates, who make it their career and passion to give children like our AJ and his peers the opportunity to shine. Your donation is tax deductible, company-matching, and all but a very small portion to pay for the administration fees will be given directly to the L.I.F.E. program. As an additional incentive, a $25 donation will earn you a custom wrist wrap, a $50+ donation will earn you a wrist wrap and an autographed picture of AJ, and a $100+ donation will earn you a wrist wrap, an autographed picture of AJ, and an original piece of AJ artwork! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity in supporting "AJ's Piece of the Puzzle" and helping him shine his light. We have pledged to match the first $1000 raised. With Heartfelt Gratitude, AJ, Janel, & Tony Nucci



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