When Jon Singer came to Headsweats looking for support for his charity, Drive4Rebecca, there was no doubt that we wanted to help his cause. We were so moved by this family’s quest to raise money for and increase awareness of autism. In addition Jon has gotten the Nautica NYC Triathlon to make Drive4Rebecca their official charity in 2011. Below is more information written by Jon himself about Drive4Rebecca and what they are doing in 2011 and how you can get involved.
We’re very excited that The Drive4Rebecca was selected as an official charity of The 2011 Nautica NYC Triathlon. The race will take place on Sunday August 7th, 2011 and we are happy to announce that we are sold out of guaranteed entries.
The Drive4Rebecca was kicked off in 2002 when our family embarked on a cross-country journey to increase awareness of autism, raise funds for research,education, and to help establish a new school. We held events in seven cities at Whole Foods Market and Wild Oat Stores and we were covered by all of the major networks and other media.
In Sept. 2003, we joined together with several other families to establish REED Academy where our sweet 14-year-old daughter Rebecca and many other children are now learning and growing to the best of their abilities. Today, The Drive4Rebecca is helping all children with special needs by helping their families to become stronger advocates and continues to support research, education and increase awareness of autism.
Up until five years ago, I never ran unless someone was chasing after me. But I did a lot of power walking up and down the hills in our neighborhood, pushing Rebecca for miles in a Baby Jogger. One day I tried running with Rebecca and I was hooked. I decided that some day I would run with her in the NYC Marathon.
After doing a number of races, the next year I ran in The NYC Half Marathon pushing Rebecca for the entire 13.1 miles and then went on to run with her in the Brooklyn and Staten Island Half Marathons. Feeling pretty tired after completing half marathons, I decided I wouldn’t run a marathon with Rebecca because it would probably be too much. Since I was swimming to recover from long runs however I started training for the NYC Triathlon and pushed Rebecca for the running portion of the race.
Late last summer, The Drive4Rebecca was fortunate to have been selected as an official charity by John Korff of the NYC Triathlon. While that was very exciting, my feet had been bothering me for a while and I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to run anymore. In October I went to a podiatrist who gave me some inserts/orthotics for my running shoes and within a few days my feet felt great! I was so happy that I entered the NYC Marathon less than a month before the race and pushed Rebecca for 16 of the 26 miles, completed the race without her, and felt terrific. It ended up that I was well prepared because of my triathlon training.
For the 2011 Triathlon we are very fortunate to have a few relay teams and a number of athletes who are going to complete the entire race. Most of the athletes are friends and several of them have specified that 50% of the funds they raise will support their favorite charities that help children with special needs. The organizations being supported include Autism NJ, The Children’s Therapy Center, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation, REED Academy and The Seaver Autism Center.
Jon Singer, Rebecca’s dad, also wrote The Special Needs Parent Handbook with all proceeds from sales of The Special Needs Parent Handbook benefiting Advocacy For All. In addition with the Special Needs Ambassador Program, The Drive4Rebecca is giving away free copies of a special edition of The Special Needs Handbook to libraries to provide access to the book to families unable to afford one.
Please visit www.drive4rebecca.org/ to learn more about what you can do to help out.