Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Fundraiser Event Sold Out

Wine & Craft Beer Tasting
Saturday, February 28th – 7pm – St. Barbara’s Church, Orange, CT

February 25, 2015, Orange, CT – Tickets for the Bethany Leapley Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Fund’s 2015 Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Fundraiser are now SOLD OUT. There will be 250 people will be in attendance at event emceed by WTNH News Anchor Jim Watkins on Saturday, February 28th at 7pm at St. Barbara’s Church in Orange, Connecticut. The fundraiser will include hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a silent auction, music by DJ Jay, and guest speakers including keynote speaker Martha Leary, CCC-SLP and Dr. Ruth Eren EdD, Department Chair and Professor of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University.

The Bethany Leapley ASD Scholarship Fund, established by Adam & Dedra Leapley in honor of Adam’s mother who fought a 25 year battle against breast cancer, was created to provide financial assistance to those who cannot afford supervised training and adaptive group classes at the ASD Fitness Center in Orange. Research shows that exercise is beneficial to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the ASD Fitness Center is a ground-breaking facility and service providing a safe, comfortable, and structured environment for empowering ASD individuals to improve their level of physical fitness, nutrition and social/emotional well being. The result of exercising for those with ASD is a boost in confidence, improved social awareness, and decreased anxiety.

“My mother was the strongest person I ever met” says Adam’s sister Bethany Luna who serves as the Charity Vice Chair. “She approached everything with courage, strength, and dignity, and she had a very special place in her heart for her grandson with ASD who benefitted greatly from a structured exercise program.”

Last year, prior to the opening of the ASD Fitness Center in April, the Bethany Leapley Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Fund raised over $60,000 at the first Wine & Craft Beer Tasting sold out event. This money has already enabled ten people to receive one-on-one personal training at the ASD Fitness Center and to participate in adaptive group classes including karate, yoga, circuit cardio, and the newly added Zumba-type classes.

“The ASD Fitness Center has been wonderfully embraced by many people and organizations throughout New Haven and Fairfield Counties,” says Adam Leapley who created and designed the facility with his wife Dedra. “All of our trainers have a special education background and will offer one-on-one training and small group fitness classes. Our intake and evaluations are thorough and Individual Fitness Programs (IFP) will be created for each member to achieve specific goals in the areas of fitness, nutrition and functional skills. We currently have over 60 members of the gym and this number is growing steadily.”

In addition to membership interest, the ASD Fitness Center has also received the support of organizations in the area including schools requesting adaptive P.E. programs for their special needs students. Dr. Frederick Shic & Dr. Pamela Ventola of the Yale Child Study Center are working with the ASD Fitness Center to create new research protocols and studies. Also, Chapel Haven, known for its’ award winning program for serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, recently partnered with the ASD Fitness Center to offer an adaptive sports program for the adults they serve. “It was a natural partnership”, said President, Michael Storz, “We were looking to create a more enhanced fitness training program and they have the talent. I’m excited to see this program develop”.

“We are grateful for the support we have received in bringing this unique concept to life,” says Leapley. “Our goal is to help as many adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as possible and the Scholarship fundraisers help us reach people who do not have the means for this type of support. This has been an incredible collaborative experience and I have to thank our amazing advisory board for their input and guidance.”

Tickets for the 2015 Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Fundraiser are sold out, however to be placed on the invitation list for future events, please email Also, donations are still being graciously accepted through the charity website at Checks are also accepted payable to The Bethany Leapley ASD Scholarship Fund and mailed to: Bethany Luna, at 17 Cannonball Road, North Haven, CT 06473. Donations for those unable to attend are also graciously accepted.

For questions about the Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Fundraiser or the ASD Fitness Center, please email To learn more about the Bethany Leapley ASD Scholarship Fund go to To learn more about the ASD Fitness Center, please visit

The Bethany Leapley Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Fund is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization and is registered with the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Public Charity Unit. Please consult your tax advisor regarding deductibility. Tax ID number is available upon request.

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