April 28, 2023

TONIGHT: Community Walk for Autism to be Led by “Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation College Program at WCU” Prior to Spring Football Scrimmage

75+ to Walk for 44 Minutes at the End of Autism Acceptance Month

farrell stadium

Prior to the University’s traditional spring football scrimmage on Friday, April 28, the “Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation College Program at West Chester University (WCU)” will host an indoor Walk for Autism from 6-6:44 p.m. that will have 75+ community members walking for 44 minutes in Sturzebecker Health Science Center Gym (main level gyms #2- #4), located at 855 South New Street in West Chester (South Campus). The walk’s length of time recognizes that one in 44 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The in-door walk, which costs $20 per person to participate, culminates the official end of Autism Acceptance Month at WCU.

At 6:55 p.m. in Farrell Stadium, also located at 855 South New Street in West Chester, the National Anthem will be sung by D-CAP student, Emma Billingsley; D-CAP provides supports to degree-seeking West Chester University students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The WCU Golden Rams football scrimmage will take place at 7 p.m. rain or shine!

Starting at 7:30 p.m., the Eagles Autism Foundation’s “Sensory Swope” will make an appearance during half-time and will be on site at Farrell Stadium through 8:30 p.m. During half-time, three Special Needs Touchdowns will be made! A touchdown will be made by Zack Breiner, an intern with the West Chester University Golden Rams Football team who will receive a Ram Initiative certificate of completion during commencement this May. In addition, touchdowns will also be made by Vinnie Bertotti, whose parent works at West Chester University, and Austin Shirlow, the brother of a West Chester University student.

Throughout the game, student members of the University’s chapter of the Philadelphia Eagles Foundation will be on hand to sell fidget spinners, beanies, wristbands, and other merchandise. Also featured will be a raffle basket table that includes a signed Jordan Mailata football. More than $4,000 has been raised by the chapter for the Eagles Autism Challenge. Approximately 20 D-CAP students and members of the University’s chapter of the Philadelphia Eagles Foundation will attend the Challenge on May 20.

Autism Acceptance Month at WCU featured numerous activities including volunteering at the annual Huddle Up for Autism at the Lincoln Financial Field; hosting outdoor games during the Ram Shop Communitywide Celebration; showing off talents during a D-CAP Talent Show in Sykes Student Union; hosting Neuro-Inclusive Campus Events; and much more.

“Having an inclusive campus is important for our students, faculty, staff, and community alike,” says Director of Autism Services/Dub-C Autism Program Cherie Fishbaugh. “Our events are designed to welcome all.”

Head Football Coach Bill Zwaan agreed. “We’re here for our students, every one of them,” he said. “Sometimes just being on the field can make all the difference. Everybody deserves a win.”

In addition to the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation College Program at WCU, the events during the Spring Football Scrimmage are supported by the University’s Dub-C Autism Program and the Athletic Department.

Back to top of page.