Caldwell, N.J.—May 23, 2013—Fifth-grader Shane Harper and his uncle, Frank Lisante, recently held a “Walk in the Park” with friends and family to benefit the Caldwell University Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and collected more than $3,000 to be donated to the facility.
“Me and Uncle Frank were partners in fundraising,” Shane said.
Shane’s family participated in the Caldwell University 5 K RUN WALK for Autism in previous years, and since the event was not held this year, they decided to hold their own. Twenty-five of their family members and friends, ages 3 to 75, came out to support the cause.
Shane, who attends Cedar Hill School in Montville, is president of the student council. He is passionate about helping the Caldwell Center for Autism and ABA. Shane and his uncle said it didn’t matter how much money they raised, but that they raised awareness.
One of the big contributors to the walk was the group Vero Amici for Charity, a nonprofit that supports those in need in the local community. “One hundred percent raised is given back to community,” said Vincent Christopher , one of the founders of the charity. He came with Shane and his family to present the check to Dr. Sharon Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D, executive director of the Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. Christopher founded Vero Amici with Dom Aiello and Joe Garamella both of West Caldwell. Garamella is the current president of the organization.
Shane’s entire family has a passion for helping children on the autism spectrum. His mother, Jeannie Blum-Harper, a Mount St. Dominic Academy alumna, has been a school nurse for special needs children. His aunt, Patty Blum Lisante, also a Mount alumna, has worked with special needs children. She first met Dr. Reeve when she was enrolled in the post-baccalaureate teacher certification program at Caldwell.
It is clear that young Shane Harper already has his focus in life and his heart in the right place. “People say ‘why,’ and we say ‘why not’?” he said.