Walk/Run for Abilis Raises More Than $166,500 to Fund New Initiatives

Abilis, the non profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives, celebrated its 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis this past weekend with a picture-perfect day for a 5K run and one-mile walk around Greenwich Point Park. Friends and families participated in Abilis’ annual event either virtually or in-person at Greenwich Point Park. Supporters came out on Sunday, October 17, to celebrate, dance, play with bubbles, run and walk and raised more than $166,577 for the nonprofit and its work with the special needs community in lower Fairfield County.

Pam Arturi, Heather Brown, Teresa Bracchitta and Andre DeNunzio. Photo: Bob Capazzo, Moffly Big Picture

Walk/Run for Abilis is an annual celebration for the Abilis community and is Abilis’ largest annual fundraiser and signature “friend-raising” event of the year. Many who take part in Walk/Run for Abilis do so because they are inspired by a friend or family member with special needs.

“What an amazing, happy day it was to have so many in our community and those from afar, come out and join us for Walk/Run for Abilis,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “After being apart these last 19 months, having the opportunity to safely come together for Walk/Run for Abilis was so energizing! Walk/Run for Abilis provided an opportunity for family, friends, and Abilis community members to come together for a fun morning of physical fitness, the beauty of being outdoors at Greenwich Point Park and to raise critical funds for new Abilis initiatives that support the special needs community. Thank you to all who came out and showed their support! We had many local families and many new community members and friends of Abilis. It was wonderful!”

The Walk/Run ambassador this year was Andre DeNunzio, 22, who is part of the Abilis LEAP transition program for young adults and who participated in the employee training program at Coffee for Good. Andre grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, and will be moving into one of the new Abilis residences in Darien when it opens this fall. Andre enthusiastically spoke about how the Abilis community has provided him with the support needed for greater independence, job training, a community of friends and the ability to attend his very first social event with peers, all that are helping him live a happy, independent and meaningful life.

Activities at Walk/Run for Abilis included music and a team dance-off as well as warm-up exercises and dance moves led by celebrity dance choreographer and creator of Dance It Out TV, Billy Blanks Jr, who got everyone dancing and grooving in the sunshine and warmed up for their run or walk. Children were entertained by bubbles and fun activities.

Sponsors of Walk/Run for Abilis include Holland & Knight, DARCARS Automotive Group – Lexus of Greenwich, Infiniti of Greenwich and Lexus of Mt. Kisco, Alera Group, Connecticut Community Bank, Greenwich Magazine/Moffly Media, Shepard Insurance Group, The First Bank of Greenwich, John Dwyer Builders & General Contractors, Mutual of America Financial Group, J&S Sweet Success, Connecticut Skin Institute, Greenwich Braces, The Halper Family and SEBASS Events.

Donations are still being accepted at abilis.us/walkrun.

Abilis is celebrating its 70th year as a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families, from birth throughout their lives. Abilis is a leader in serving the special needs community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, including in the towns of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high-quality support for individuals and their families. For more information, visit www.abilis.us, or facebook.com/Abilisinc, twitter.com/Abilis, or instagram.com/abilis_us.

Photo: Bob Capazzo, Moffly Big Picture
Photo: Jeni Howard
Photo: Bob Capazzo, Moffly Big Picture
Jan Flatow, Erica Klair and Amy Montimurro. Photo: Bob Capazzo, Moffly Big Picture