Rock and Ride for Autism

Motorcycles are displayed for viewing during the 2018 New Horizons in Autism Rock and Ride for Autism event. The event returns for its second year on May 19 at the Old Bridge Elks Lodge 2229. 

OLD BRIDGE – With support from the Old Bridge Elks Lodge, an organization that provides housing and support services for individuals on the autism spectrum will hold a fundraiser and awareness event on Sunday.

New Horizon in Autism’s — based in Freehold but services residents through the state at its sites, including from Middlesex County — Rock and Ride for Autism event starts at 11 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 67 Old Amboy Road, Old Bridge.

“Our hope is that families who have adult children with disabilities can have an afternoon where they and their adult children can just really have a good time, just kind of relax, and just kind of be part of their community and engage with a lot of other members in the community,” Carrie Conger, managing director of New Horizons in Autism, said.

The family-friendly event, which is open to all, will have a motorcycle and car show, live bands, raffles, games, food, and drinks, with its radio sponsor, 107.1 the Boss.

It also will feature a silent auction with prizes such as signed baseballs by Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard, New York Yankees tickets, and an iPad and Echo Dot, among other items. The DeGrom baseball is unique because it is signed by him noting he was the National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner.

Tickets are $20 and help support New Horizons in Autism's programs and housing operations.

The event also follows along with a shift from excluding individuals with autism to helping them become more a part of the communities where they reside.

“It’s critical that we have our individuals out in the community, engaging with the members of their communities. We spend a lot of time in the community, working in the community, trying to obtain employment in the community,” Conger said. “So this is just a really great event where nobody is going to look at somebody who’s screaming or who’s wearing headphones because of sound tolerance. It’s a really good environment for people to bring all of their family members regardless of abilities or disabilities. Nobody will be stigmatized on Sunday. We’re there raising funds for the organization so we can continue to provide quality community programming for the individuals.”

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.