WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Autism Project held its 20th Annual Imagine Walk Sunday morning in Warwick.
The event returned to Goddard Memorial State Park for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
12 News anchor Danielle North served as emcee of the event. Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi and Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos were also in attendance.
After a two-year hiatus organizers and family members said it was great to be back together.
“We’re just happy we’re here. It’s the human connection. As many Zoom meetings as we do, it’s about talking face to face and this is what today’s about,” Joanne Quinn, Executive Director of The Autism Project said.
Michelle Dabeck says she and her son Alex have been attending Imagine Walks for at least nine years.
“With The Autism Project, they’ve been wonderful. He’s [Alex] in social groups, he’s in their camp and they always modify it to meet their needs and they’re fantastic with them. He loves going.” she said.
(Story continues below photo gallery.)
Kathy and Bob Sorrentino used to take their son, Randy, to The Autism Project events. He passed away at the age of 28.
The Sorrentino family says they will continue to come back every year and support the non-profit organization in Randy’s honor.
“He’s an angel. He’s an angel now. He’s watching over everybody,” Kathy Sorrentino said.
The Sorrentinos say it would’ve been tough to raise Randy without programs like this one.
The Autism Project, based out of Johnston, said all of its programs, training and services are funded by the Imagine Walk.
You are still able to donate to The Autism Project here.
WPRI 12 and FOX Providence are once again proud sponsors of the Imagine Walk.