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Way to Go! Hauppauge student bikes 100 miles for autism

Luca Iallonardi, a senior at Hauppauge High School,

Luca Iallonardi, a senior at Hauppauge High School, recently participated in 100-mile bike ride to raise money for autism programs.  Credit: Michele Iallonardi

A Hauppauge High School student recently raised money for individuals with autism by embarking on a 100-mile bike ride across Long Island.

Luca Iallonardi, a senior, biked from the South Street Seaport in Manhattan to Smith Point County Park in Shirley as part of a fundraiser coordinated through the nonprofit Bike to the Beach, which hosts a handful of charity bike rides nationwide.

Iallonardi participated in the 10-hour ride in honor of his 19-year-old brother, Jackson, who is autistic. His efforts raised $8,670, the fourth-highest amount among New York City participants and the ninth-highest amount in the United States.

"My brother and other individuals with autism are in need of social opportunities, and I would do anything to help those individuals and their needs," said Iallonardi, 17. "Biking 100 miles couldn't compare to the hardships Jackson goes through."

Iallonardi rode with a team representing the Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America, which provides support to local families affected by autism. He has previously volunteered at the society's events as well as the Brookville Center for Children's Services in Glen Head, which his brother attends.

Iallonardi is also an All-National vocalist and president of his school's chamber choir and Tri-M Music Honor Society. In addition, he is vice president of the Drama Club and a member of the National, Social Studies and Spanish honor societies.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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