A Roslyn High School freshman has been the inspiration for local fundraisers in recent years that have netted more than $1 million for autism awareness.
Ryan Hason, 15, who has the condition, is credited with being the catalyst for Holes for Hope, which holds an annual event featuring raffles and golf, tennis and card competitions. Last summer’s Holes for Hope drew 400 people to Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor, with $200,000 raised for the North Shore Autism Circle.
The effort began six years ago as the Hasons and six families close to them mulled ways to raise funds and awareness. Now, up to 20 families pitch in.
“I’m just so proud of the whole day,” said Olivia Fein, 17, a friend of Hason who is one of the event’s main volunteers. “We never thought that it would take off like this.”
In addition, Fein’s brother, Jesse, introduced an idea four years ago to make a patchwork quilt out of T-shirts from teams participating in “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” at Jones Beach — with donors having their names sewn onto the quilt’s border. So far, the quilt features nearly 100 names, Olivia Fein said.
A $15,000 check collected from the most recent donors to the quilt was given to Family Center for Autism, a Garden City-based nonprofit.