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article imagePriscilla Arena discusses 2019 SASI event, 'Blue Party,' future Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 6, 2019 in Lifestyle
Priscilla Arena chatted with Digital Journal about her May 31st "Blue Party" event in Holbrook, which supported the Specialized Autism Support and Information (SASI), as well as her plans for the future with the organization.
On her SASI event last month, Arena said, "It was a huge transition year and the opportunities to have a platform or to educate seem to be endless. We tripled our advocacy fund grant recipients, we expanded some of our professional development to local colleges, plus grew by over 1000 members in the past year. It was a year for growth certainly."
"There were many amazing things to take in at the Gala this year," she said. "The political support across party lines from the governor's office to the local council people really impressed even me. Finally having a photograph with my children and mother together made me happy. However, after our third year, for me the stand out moments are always the few parents that I finally get to meet that cry, hugging me and thanking me for either how SASI has helped them with their child or how they feel I have impacted the community."
Hip hop sensation Rob Base provided the musical entertainment. "This year we had Rob Base performing. The crowd went wild and were singing the 'it takes two' lyrics," she said.
She revealed that they have huge plans over the next year. "One would be the expansion of our Life/Social skills program. We will continue to offer over summer, along with adding to our class schedule and likely be doubling the kids we are helping. An adult social on a large scale. Partnering with other businesses to create employment opportunities for our community and we will be focusing on what legitimate changes need to be made in our public school system," she said.
"SASI is an autism organization truly making a difference to nearly 3,800 families of the community," she said. "The average cost to raise a child on the spectrum is between 1.4 to 2.4 million dollars. Part of SASI's mission is to make everything accessible, affordable and attainable for all of the autism community. Without the support of those that attend the gala or other contributions, SASI would cease to exist.
To learn more about SASI, check out its official website and Facebook page.
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