Autism Spectrum Disorder affects 1 in every 88 children and is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States according to Autism Speaks, an Autism Awareness Organization. These statistics, along with personal relationships with children living with Autism sparked a desire to help in Globe University – Wausau Massage Therapy student, Nicole Kassien.
Nicole initially reached out to the Autism Society of Central Wisconsin (ASCW), as a part of her Community Service project for her Global Citizenship class, but once she began her volunteer journey, there was no looking back. Nicole spoke with Mike Johnson, President of ASCW, and heard stories of how his family deals with his daughter’s disability daily. She saw the need for the organization and even though her project has since concluded, she remains determined to help out.
Nicole took her project a step farther by taking on the task of helping to fundraise for ASCW. Nicole sold tickets to Window Pains, a performance highlighting Autism held April 12th and 13th at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County Civic Center for Engagement.
Nicole also wanted to include her hometown, so brought the fight against Autism to Boulder Junction. A game day was held at McGann’s Wine Café, owned by Denny McGann, on Friday, March 22nd. There were games including Wii bowling, memory games and a clay sculpting contest. Raffles and food were provided by Amy Wheeler and The Outdoorsmen Restaurant. The event attracted many from the town. Nicole is also working on having Mike Johnson serve as a guest speaker to bring further awareness to her hometown of Boulder Junction.
Nicole reflected on her project and her fundraising idea, saying “Having this opportunity really is another way for me to become a better citizen in my community. In a small town like Boulder Junction, people think that we are immune to ‘those things’, like autism. But, I can tell you that when ‘those things’ happen in a small town, we all come together. I love being the first person to step up and help, raise a hand and jump in, start a fundraiser and see it to the end.”
In total, Nicole helped raise $250.00 for this terrific cause and is more excited than ever about helping out the ASCW. She has made great connections, both personally and on a professional level, all while fighting for something that she feels needs her support and assistance. If you want more information on ASCW please contact Nicole or contact Mike Johnson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.