Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Autism night at TGI Fridays in NJ

I'm moving this one back to the top so that all you Jersey folks might try and get a good meal next Tuesday (TGIF may never be the same again ;))

***UPDATE*** Fortunately for TGIF, we were not able to attend, I got stuck trying to get around all the flooded Passaic River bridges in Paterson. HERE'S a link to TGI Friday's comments section so you can all tell how happy you were to here this was done in NJ and maybe they can do it nationwide next year!!!

This one came from our old therapist who is trying to disseminate this information for an obviously strong, and in her way, courageous young woman. I will use my very limited audience to help spread the word. I haven't a clue why this did, but it made me well up that this young woman saw this opportunity to help those families affected by autism in a very small and personal way, hope to see you there (the TGIF in our area will never survive the 7 of us going there, but we may just try):

To Whom It May Concern:

Could you please make copies and distribute this letter and flyer to all the families in your school. Also, if people could spread the word to their friends and family who have children on the autistic spectrum that would be excellent!

My name is Alexandra Abend and I have an 8 year-old brother with autism. I am a Junior in high school at Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey. I was elected 1 out of 44 girls in the entire country to participate in a women's leadership conference hosted by Mount Holyoke College called Take the Lead. At this conference we were each asked to come up with a social action project topic. My action project topic is making families affected with autism feel comfortable and able to enjoy a relaxed family dinner at T.G.I.Fridays. I have already spoken with all the general managers in New Jersey for T.G.I.Fridays and they are all on board for the project. It is called Autism Family Night; it is taking place on April 17, 2007, it is only taking place in New Jersey this year. The families can go to any T.G.I.Friday's near them on April 17, 2007 with the flyer in order to make their meal more enjoyable.

This is important to me because my youngest brother was diagnosed with autism six and a half years ago and I have been extremely involved with autism and other special needs ever since (five years ago my father and I started a Sports Clinics for children with special needs and we have been running it ever since).

This project sometimes sounds confusing because people ask, “What's the project?” So, to make it clear, all I am doing is designating a day during Autism Awareness Month (April 17, 2007) for families affected with autism to come together and enjoy a relaxed family dinner without feeling stigmatized or uptight. In an effort to make the night more enjoyable for the families, I have given all the Friday's in New Jersey information to disseminate to their staff, which explains autism and some associated symptoms. This project is very special to me, and in order for it to work I need your help in distributing this flyer.

If you have any questions you can contact me at, or if you receive any questions about the event you or those people can contact me at that email address also.

Thank you for your help and support.

Alex Abend

BTW, I have a PDF FILE of the flyer she mentions (yea, it's on COSAC's site finally).


Sam I Am said...

How incredibly cool that this girl is doing this. Hmmm....maybe next year it will have spread across the nation , and I could be enjoying some of those wings while Sam is under the table eating his hot dog. We would all enjoy!! :)


What a brilliant idea

mcewen said...

superb! and superlative.
Best wishes