Champion Autism Network

reducing challenges and barriers to families with a child with Autism

May & June Events

We’re getting into the swing of summer, where the weather and the schedule heats up! Don’t forget to mark these events on your calendar.

May 20, 4pm to 6pm Ripley’s Sensory Friendly Aquarium. 1110 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 Phone: (800) 734-8888. House lights up and music and sound effects down, lots of fun to be had. If you do not want to exit through the gift shop, you can go out the regular doors.

May 21, 10am Sensory Friendly Showing of Angry Birds at Grand 14 in Market Common, 4002 Deville Street, Myrtle Beach SC 29577 Phone: (843) 315-2991. Lights up, sound down and children free to move around. Admission is $5 per person with $1 drinks and $1 popcorn and all concessions available. First time families or those experiencing financial hardship should contact CAN for free tickets.

June 10, 4pm to 6pm Ripley’s Sensory Friendly Aquarium. 1110 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 Phone: (800) 734-8888. House lights up and music and sound effects down, lots of fun to be had. If you do not want to exit through the gift shop, you can go out the regular doors.

June 18, 10am Sensory Friendly Showing of Finding Dory at Grand 14 in Market Common, 4002 Deville Street, Myrtle Beach SC 29577 Phone: (843) 315-2991. Lights up, sound down and children free to move around. Admission is $5 per person with $1 drinks and $1 popcorn and all concessions available. First time families or those experiencing financial hardship should contact CAN for free tickets.

Every Monday at 10am throughout the summer, Grand 14 in Market Common holds FREE Sensory Friendly movies. Schedule of movies and more information can be found by clicking here

Due to crowd volume, Ripley’s Aquarium sensory friendly events will halt in July and August and will resume in September.

April Events

Upcoming FUNdraising events for CAN are below.  We are blessed by the support!

April:  In honor of Autism Awareness Month, throughout the month of April, Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery, located at 3301 N Kings Hwy in Myrtle Beach,  will be selling special made T-shirts, silicone brackets, ribbon pins and accepting any loose change (or bills). All the proceeds will be matched by Johnny D’s and donated to Champion Autism Network.  This is a wonderful opportunity to have a great meal, spread Autism Awareness and support a local business and CAN!

April 2nd: In honor of World Autism Day, the Myrtle Beach Speedway, 455 Hospitality Ln, Myrtle Beach, come on out to help Support Autism Awareness as we race for a cause! Myrtle Beach Speedway Divisions will include: NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Models, Chargers, Mini Stocks, Super Trucks, and Vintage Series!   Meet and greet the drivers starts at 3:45, gates open at 2pm.

April 9:  Karate World is having a self-defense seminar from 1:30-2:30pm, 720-B Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach.  A donation to CAN gets you in.

April 16th there are 2 fund raisers:

Karate World Board-break-athon from 1pm-2:30pm at Ripley’s Aquarium, 1110 Celebrity Circle, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach.  The event will be held inside the Aquarium if it is raining, outside weather permitting.

Brigadoon Discount Golf from 9am-6pm, located at 710 Highway 17 N. Surfside Beach.  Make a donation and try your luck at chipping a ball into the mouth of a 25-foot dinosaur or test your putting prowess.  A cookout will be held from 4-6pm.

Thank You SO Much!

It’s over.   It’s finally over!   And we couldn’t have done it without you!

We raised $2,300 during the course of this campaign, and during the course of the marathon, brought new awareness about autism and CAN.   Running the distance with “Slappy”, doing those slamballs & burpees, was a huge physical challenge but also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life.   Truly.   I met some of the most amazing runners and volunteers along the way, heard some incredible stories, and basked in the support of folks who shouted out our cause along the way.   My family met me at a few critical points along the way, and they are a perpetual source of strength and renewal.

But the best of all was running the last 3 miles with Becky!   Even though I was completely out of my skull at that point, I won’t ever forget that experience, especially doing slamballs at Mile 24 (?) with the kids from school, shouting out the numbers.   It gives me chills even now.

So once more, thank you all.   You’ve given me far more than I’ve given you.   Thank you Becky, Cheryl, Claire, Amelia, Liz Cooper from WDPE, my friends from Concord, NC and my awesome family-in-law, my Crossfit buddies and the big man upstairs, most of all.   Remember, YesYouCAN!

One Week To Go!

Hello All;

Its been awhile since my last update (this is Richard), and I’d like to first say how grateful we are for the donations that have come in, supporting CAN through this fundraising effort.  Becky and I both feel blessed beyond words to know how this event is resonating with people.

This morning, when I was doing my last long-ish run with a buddy, another friend drove by on his way back from the hospital, where he was on call the night before.   He stopped his car, called us over, and asked about the fundraising efforts.   Then he took a $100 bill out of his wallet and gave it to me, saying it was for the slamball burpees.   He’s a good friend, and I am so touched by his generosity.    I’m also a little freaked because now I actually have to do them!

Its been kind of a rough 2 weeks since my longest training run.   I was sick with an infection last week and missed almost 3 days of work, unusual for me.  This was after a week of travel and conferences (although I’m not complaining, since it was all in FL).    I was worn down and vulnerable, and this happens a lot when you are overtraining.   Anyway, I’m on some good antibiotics and had a pretty good run this morning (Sat. Feb 27), so I’m feeling okay going into race week, just not as confidant as I was after finishing the 20 mile slamball run.

I won’t get a chance to post again before the race, so wish me luck, think happy thoughts, and tell your friends that its not too late to support CAN!

Still in Training

Another insane video from Richard Sexton. Thanks for the support!

News release from Surfside Beach SC

FIRST TOWN IN US TO BECOME AN AUTISM FRIENDLY TRAVEL DESTINATION

SOUTH CAROLINA TOWN BECOMES FIRST AUTISM-FRIENDLY TRAVEL DESTINATION–
Surfside Beach, South Carolina, January 2016– Surfside Beach SC, known as “The Family Beach,” just South of Myrtle Beach, declared itself an Autism friendly travel destination on January 12th, 2016.
Already known for its beach, fishing pier and the nearby Marsh Walk, Sky Wheel, Myrtle Beach boardwalk, Waccatee Zoo, zip lining, Broadway at the Beach, museums, aquarium, mini-golf, golf, and dozens of other attractions, Surfside Beach is telling families with children with Autism to come over and play. As Sammy Truett, Chairman of the Surfside Beach Business Committee and a major supporter, said, “I felt it was a good idea from a perspective of showing off our town, how friendly we are, opening our arms and offering our town to those who aren’t able to get out due to constraints of having a child with Autism.”
To kick-off the initiative, three long weekends are being planned in April in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. Starting with local property management agency Surfside Realty, and area hotels, Holiday Inn, Surfside Beach Resort, and Comfort Inn preparing beach houses, condos and hotel rooms for the arrival of kids who might have meltdowns or seizures.
Since autism can bring with it a variety of behavioral issues, parents of autistic kids are weary of nasty looks and glares. Surfside Beach has committed to transforming itself into a judgment-free zone, both at the beach and the surrounding area with businesses, restaurants and venues being trained in the needs of children on the Autism Spectrum.
The outreach to families with children on The Spectrum was spearheaded by Becky Large of Champion Autism Network, or CAN. She started the Sensory Friendly Movies in 2014 at the Grand 14 in Myrtle Beach. The response was overwhelming and the parents kept asking, “What else is there?!!” In response to them, in 2015, she wrote a grant and received start-up funds through the United Way of Horry County to start the ACE (Autism Community Education) Program with Autism services provider SOS Healthcare, Inc., which trains businesses, venues and restaurants in the needs of those with Autism. Being in Surfside Beach, creating an Autism-Friendly Travel Destination was the next logical extension.

About Surfside Beach, S.C.
Surfside Beach is located just south of Myrtle Beach and 6 miles from the Myrtle Beach International Airport. Known as a smaller, quieter vacation alternative to its busier neighbor to the north, the town offers its own thriving businesses, activities, and a fishing pier, and is only a brief drive away from the many more attractions, activities, restaurants, boardwalks, and state parks of greater Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.

About Champion Autism Network:
CAN is a movement that aims to increase Autism Awareness and provide support to families effected by Autism. The mission is to reduce challenges and barriers to allow families with a child with Autism to have a “normal” family outing or experience, reducing sensory input and creating inviting environments for children with Autism, their parents and siblings. 

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – Autism Spectrum Disorders. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the Autism Spectrum and that number is increasing. 

For more information, go to www.championautismnetwork.com or
Champion Autism Network on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChampionAutismNetwork

Contact:
Becky Large
Champion Autism Network – championautismnetwork@gmail.com
609-744-0099
Surfside Beach SC 29575