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Softball team to help autism group

Marietta College softball team supports autism service organization

From Staff Reports

The Marietta College softball team recently raised $3,500 through a raffle and donated the funds to a local autism service organization.

“This was important to me because I have a sister with autism who has supported me throughout my entire softball career and has never failed to cheer me on. She has gotten to know the softball team and everyone on the team has accepted her,” said sophomore Allyssa Hagenbaugh, of Stow. “This disability is growing bigger and bigger every day, and having a foundation that is able to help and support them is very important. I’m so grateful for my team and all the people who supported this autism foundation. It meant a lot to me and my family.”

The Autism Speaks glove is a specifically designed light blue glove made by Wilson.

It says “Love the Moment” on the inside of the pinky and has the hashtag Autism Speaks.

Head softball coach Jenn Castle gave Sam Crowther, the president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Autism Organization, the donation on Nov. 24.

“We chose the Mid-Ohio Autism Community Inc. to donate our proceeds to because they are directly giving back to local families,” said Castle. “This organization is providing opportunities for families that will directly impact their lives.”

The local nonprofit provides support services for families with children on the autism spectrum.

“These support services include such things as monthly support group meetings,” said Crowther.

Crowther is also an assistant athletic trainer and faculty member at Marietta College.

“Another thing we do is provide quarterly respite nights for the parents,” he added. “The respite program allows parents to drop off their children at Ewing School for three hours and allow the parents an opportunity to do whatever they want for an evening knowing their child is being cared for by a qualified person.”

The softball program sold a total of 4,300 raffle tickets and the winner of the Autism Speaks glove was Dave Peters.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Autism Organization is an agency of the Mid-Ohio Valley United Way, and also receives funding from the Marietta Community Foundation.

By receiving outside donations like this, it allows them to be less dependent on the United Way and Marietta Community Foundation, so this donation indirectly supports these agencies as well.

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