Uncle of two boys with autism hosts annual fundraiser for Autism Eats

Uncle of two boys with autism hosts annual fundraiser for Autism Eats


CHARITY. ERIKA: ARMANI THAO HAS LOTS OF
FUN WITH NEPHEWS LANDON AND
HUNTER.>>WE IMMEDIATELY HAD THIS JUST
AMAZING BOND.>>EVER SINCE I HAD MY KIDS HE’S
ALWAYS AROUND, HE’S ALWAYS
ASKING FOR THEM. ERIKA: MOM MELINA EXPLAINS BOTH
HER SONS HAVE AUTISM. LANDON DOESN’T TALK MUCH, BUT
COMMUNICATES IN OTHER WAYS.>>BELIEVE IT OR NOT THEY’RE
BOTH REALLY GREAT DANCERS. ERIKA: CHECK OUT LANDON AT A
RECENT ZUMBATHON ORGANIZED BY
ARMANI, WHO’S A PART-TIME
INSTRUCTOR AT BEST FITNESS IN
CHELMSFORD. THIS WAS THE 4TH YEAR HE HOSTED
THE EVENT. IT RAISES MONEY FOR AUTISM EATS,
A CHARITY LENARD ZOHN STARTED
WITH HIS WIFE.>>WE HAD ABOUT 125 PEOPLE HERE
IN THE RESTAURANT. ERIKA: ANDOLINI’S IN ANDOVER IS
WHERE THEY HELD THEIR FIRST
AUTISM-FRIENDLY DINNER FOUR
YEARS AGO. SINCE THEN THERE HAVE BEEN MANY
MORE.>>WE’VE HAD OVER 70 EVENTS NOW
IN 16 DIFFERENT STATES. ERIKA: THE INSPIRATION, THE
ZOHN’S SON AIDAN. EATING OUT, SOMETHING THEY LOVE
>>AMBIENT NOISE, BRIGHT LIGHTS,
NOT WANTING TO WAI
REALLY, ANY ENJOYMENT THAT WE
HAD FROM GOING OUT WAS
OUTWEIGHED BY THIS STRESS. ERIKA: AUTISM EATS TRIES TO
LIMIT THAT STRESS BY CAREFULLY
ORCHESTRATING MEAL
RESTAURANTS ARE CURATED, MEALS
PAID FOR AHEAD OF TIME, BUFFETS
STOCKED, TO REDUCE WAIT TIMES .
AND EVERYTHING COMES WITH A SI
OF UNDERSTANDING.>>THE MOMENT WE GO, WE FEEL SO
COMFORTABLE
HE’S SCREAMING, NO ONE’S JUDGING
US. EVERYONE’S NICE, EVERYONE TALKS
TO EACH OTHE
>>PEOPLE THAT ARE SHARING
SIMILAR JOYS AND SIMILAR
CHALLENGES. AND WE WANT ALL THESE PEOPLE TO
COME TOGETHER. ERIKA: LENARD SAYS ARMANI’S
SUPPORT THROUGH THE ZUMBATHON
HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL. THAT’S OUR LARGEST FUNDRAISER
AND HE’S HELPED US RAISE
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND THAT
GOES TO FAMILIES SO TH
REGARDLESS OF THEIR FINANCIAL
SITUATION, THEY CAN COME ON SCHOLARSHIP OR SUBSIDY. ERIKA: SUPPORTING A LOCAL
CHARITY BRINGING JOY TO FAMILIES
LIKE HIS JUST MAKES SENSE, SAYS
THIS PROUD UNCLE.>>SIRIS IS BETWEEN MARS AND
JUPITER.>>WOW. ERIKA: THE GOAL OF AUTISM EATS
IS TO INCREASE THE FREQUENCY OF
THEIR DINNERS AND BRING EVENTS
TO NEW COMMUNITIES. TO DO THAT T

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