On Saturday, January 23, 2016, Team Cypress Bay participated in the Dan Marino WalkAbout Autism at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The HDS Foundation and Cypress Bay High School (CBHS) teamed up and began participation in this fundraiser a few years ago. The efforts of those involved result in increasingly better outcomes as the years go on; and, this year was no exception.  All people and groups participating raised tons of funds for the cause and, even more, spread awareness throughout their school and the greater community. Cypress Bay teachers Donna Mansollilo and Kathleen A. Gorman-Gard rallied students and their families and massively increased event attendance.  The HDS Foundation team, including Cristina Miranda, Carla Otiniano MSW, and Dr. Sandy Rizzo-Weiner of Customized Interventions, worked diligently alongside the CBHS staff to ensure this event was a success. In the end, Team Cypress Bay was able to raise a hefty sum of $12,780.00, which proved to be quite an accomplishment for the group.  Team captain Katherine Miranda-Gilson was the top fundraiser once again this year, beating out all other event participants. She worked hard, as did many, to recruit participants and raise funds for the Dan Marino Foundation.  The CBHS ESE department was awarded approximately $3200 as a direct grant.  This resource not only acknowledged the hard work and determination the department put forth, but helped provide classroom amenities and technological advancements for special needs students and classrooms at the Bay.

After the walk, the attendees danced to music sponsored by local radio DJs. Several local vendors were onsite providing more information about their programs and services. Walkers had the opportunity to sample foods and engage in other activities. It seemed to be quite an enjoyable event for all who attended.

We are so grateful to all the families and friends who came out to support each other and the larger cause and, additionally, those who were kind enough to donate to the fundraiser.  The generous contributions to the various team members are what made this awareness-spreading and wholly helpful event possible.