Update on the Suwannee River Paddle for Autism

Published: February 22nd, 2018

Category: Fundraiser, News

We are thankful to Peggy & Martin Grill, Judy Allen, and all of the of Suwannee River Paddle for Autism sponsors and participants for their efforts in raising funds to help our constituents in Lafayette County over the past 6 years! We will continue to work with the children, adults, and schools in this area.
If you are someone who cares about autism and CARD services, this would be a good time to let your state legislators know that you support increased funding to the CARD centers. If you have any questions or would like help learning how to contact your legislators please let us know. If you are an individual on the spectrum, teacher, or family member in need of support please let us know.

Statement from the Suwannee River Paddle for Autism organizers:

Dear Suwannee River Paddle for Autism FACEBOOK friends,


We want to thank you all for your support and participation in our charity event – the Suwannee River Paddle for Autism. Our last event, the 6th Annual Suwannee River Paddle for Autism was held on Saturday, April 29, 2017. We had a large crowd of supporters paddling the river and attending the concert and raffle. With our paddle participant and business partner donations along with raffle ticket sales, we raised $3,569.10, which was donated to the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, at the University of Florida (CARD-UF). Thank you for helping this area’s autistic children, their families, and their teachers – and also for helping to raise awareness of the many children in our country diagnosed with this disorder.


With this post, we are announcing that we have decided to bring the operations of this charity to a close and will no longer be holding the Suwannee River Paddle for Autism event. There will be no event held in 2018.


Please be assured that Dr. Greg Valcante, Director of CARD-UF, has put the funds that have been donated to good use. Over the past six years our charity has provided a total cash donation of $24, 574.16 to the Lafayette County account at CARD-UF. Examples of how these funds have been used include:


Expenditure Description
Project Lifesaver – 2017 GPS tracking system and bracelets purchased for the Lafayette Co. Sheriff’s department – to help track and locate lost or at-risk autistic and mentally-impaired children and adults.


Four iPads and special hardened cases. 2013-2015 Provided to autistic children at Lafayette Elementary and High Schools (LES/LHS) to help with communication skills and homework.


Two Mimeo boards for classrooms – 2015 Smart whiteboards that enable LES/LHS teachers to print a paper copy for students to improve learning and knowledge retention.


Unique Learning System Curriculum (LES/LHS) – 2016 Unique Learning System® is an award-winning, standards-based curriculum specifically designed so that students with special needs can access the school’s general education curriculum.


Attendance at CARD-Florida conference in Orlando Teachers from LES/LHS have attended this conference several times. Includes registration and travel.


Encumbered Unique Curriculum (LES/LHS) – 2017-2018 Encumbered Unique Curriculum is an online, interactive, standards-based curriculum specifically designed for students with special needs.


Finally, we want to recognize our partner and friend who provided a most excellent venue at her campground for our concert and raffle for every year of this six year endeavor. A great, great, big thank you to Ms. Susie Page, owner of The Suwannee River Rendezvous Campground and Resort – without whose help, none of this would have been possible.


Again, thank you, FACEBOOK friends and all the other people who contributed to our autism charity. Lots of kids and families on our area are having a better life because of your caring and generosity.



Peggy Grill and Judy Allen
Founders and Event Managers
Suwannee River Paddle for Autism