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"Touchdowns 4 Autism" a hit at North Shore

Stuey Manzione

Stuey Manzione Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joe Manzione

North Shore's touchdowns this season aren't just helping the team make a run at the postseason, they're also helping support two of Long Island's premier services for individuals with autism.

Joe Manzione and Chris Zbikowski, senior captains for the Vikings, created "Touchdowns 4 Autism" as a senior project to support Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA), and Ascent, A School for Individuals with Autism.

The starting linemen for 2-3 North Shore are securing pledges for each touchdown the Vikings score this season. Going into tomorrow's game at Cold Spring Harbor, they have 16.

The two organizations are dear to Manzione because his 16-year old brother Stuey (pictured) has autism and has benefited from both services for many years. Joe also worked the past two summers at Camp Kehilla, a camp for children with disabilities, and plans to study special education in college next year.

"It feels great to work with the kids and watch them progress," he said, before adding the two services "have been able to work wonders" with his brother.

Manzione and Zbikowski have collected $12,365 in donations from 163 people as of Thursday, including $483 in pledges per touchdown. The goal is to break $20,000, and with three more games guaranteed (before a possible playoff run), the boys think they'll easily eclipse that mark.

Said North Shore coach Dan Agovino: "We're all really proud of them." 

To make a pledge or a one-time donation, email touchdowns4autism@gmail.com.

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