Thank you for your support!

The 16th Annual Walk for Autism was a success!

We felt blessed with beautiful weather and community support.

The Walk is our signature fundraising event which brings together thousands of participants annually.  This Walk originally started in 2001 to raise awareness in our local community.  Today, the Walk for Autism has evolved to not only raise awareness, but is our primary fundraiser to increase direct support to persons and families living with autism in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

We were proud to work with our 16th Annual Walk for Autism Chair Family, Greg and Shanda Coleman and their children, Kevin and Maggie. The Coleman family has been an intrical part of the Autism Society NWPA for the past six (6) years.  We were pleased they agreed to open their hearts and home to share their story with the local community.  Our Walk Chair family also organized a Walk team, High 5 for Autism, and brought our volunteer from the furthest distance, Shanda's dad, Richard Burmood.  Thank you, Coleman family, for all your support, efforts, and dedication in making sure the Annual Walk for Autism is a huge success!

The view from the Walk start line is breathtaking.  It is an overwhelming feeling seeing everyone lined up for the Walk knowing they are there to support individuals and families living with an autism spectrum disorder.   A huge shout out to our 60 sponsors, 50 teams, 130 volunteers, and over 2,000 Walkers!   You are all amazing!    A special shout out to our Team Captains.  Our team captains have help move our Walk to the next level.  The team captains are busy throughout the year organizing walkers, raising awareness, and fundraising to support our mission.  Our teams raised over $61,000!   The 16th Annual Walk for Autism raised over $116,000 due to the tremendous support received from all of you and our local community.  The Annual Walk for Autism is only as strong as the people involved.  There are not enough words to express our thanks to all our supporters.  The day was a huge success beecause of your efforts.

I would like to personally thank our dedicated 2017 Walk Committee for their expertise in planning, organizing, and working the day's event.  Our amazing crew of volunteer directors and supervisors:  Dave Bartlett, Anne Eisert, Israel Wodarski, Mike Eisert, Linda Henningan, Hope Martinson, Matt Martinson, Mary Spaeder, Dan Wirley, Jason Keim, Karen Kaiser, Elysa Farrell, Doug Boucher, Lew  Boucher, Richard Burmood, and Jan Formichella.  Our directors and supervisors invest hours throughout the year to ensure the Annual Walk runs seamlessly for the participants.

Our Board of Directors also deserve recognition for their efforts in securing Walk sponsors for the 2017 Walk for Autism.  We have an outstanding supportive Board leading our way.

Thank you, again, for all your support. We are looking forward to seeing all those smiling faces at the 17th Annual Walk for Autism | April 28, 2018. If you haven't already, visit Facebook to view the official Walk photos provided by Carolyn and Ron Vollentine and Team Photos provided by Greg Coleman.  Thank you, Carolyn, Ron and Greg for sharing your talents with us!

Sincerely, Tish Bartlett, Executive Director

Family Day at Claytopia

WHEN:    Sunday, May 21, 2017

TIME:     3:00 PM to 5:00 PPM

WHERE:  Claytopia Studio | 924 WEST ERIE PLAZA

MEMBERS:  Paint a tile or receive a $6.00 credit toward a piece of your choice

NON-MEMBERS:  $6.00 paint a tile or choose a piece of your choice (at your own cost)

STUDIO FEE:  included for both members and non-members

  • Paint a tile or select a piece of unfurnished, pre-made pottery.  Prices range from $5.00 to $50.00. Claytopia accepts cash, check, or credit cards.
  • Choose your under glaze paint colors (all are water soluble, washable and non-toxic), and any stamps, stencils, and IDEA books
  • Claytopia will glaze and fire your piece to be ready for pick up in a week.  All fired pieces are food-safe, and microwave and dishwasher safe.
  • Don't want to wait a week?  Claytopia offers an ACRYLIC PAINT option to use which allows you to take your finished piece(s) with you when you're done painting!  *Acrylic painted pieces will not hold water and are not food-safe.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED please select your preferred session when registering.  Limited seating in the sessions.

Session 1:  3:00 pm;   Session 2:  3:45 pm.

Claytopia closed promptly at 5:00 pm*

*Any unfinished projects will need completed another day under the studio fee structure provided by Claytopia.

Annual Household Membership

Children are special gifts. Many of us search for that perfect toy car, doll, video game, or gift card to give a child for birthdays and holidays. At the Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania, we have a great gift idea for the growing number of families and professionals helping those with Autism…an annual membership. 

This membership includes the sensory and social family outings for free or at reduced cost to many local sites and events in Erie.  We also offer member-only and member appreciation events. 

The cost for the membership is only $25 per household. 

In addition to the events and great support from other families and children, the benefits of community resources are abundant.  

Don't forget the grandparents!  Memberships are a perfect way to include grandparents all year long.

Contact the office at (814) 455-3540 if you would like to gift a membership for a family.

Not a member and would like to join?  click JOIN NOW

Thank you, Panera Bread (Covelli Enterprises), for hosting the 2017 Pieces of Hope for Autism Puzzle Piece cookie campaign.

Thank you to our supporters for purchasing 6,753 cookies!  

We are proud to have the support of our families and community.  Supporting the Pieces of Hope for Autism Puzzle Piece cookie campaign enables us to meet our mission goals.

Every Cookie Counts in the lives of individuals and families living with an autism spectrum disorder.

A social development program developed and empirically-validated by researchers at Canisius College's Institute of Autism Research to maximize the social competencies of 7 - 12 year old children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

FOCUS:  Social Skills, interest expansion, interpretation of non-literal language (idioms), and face and emotion recognition

LESSONS:  Each day consists of five or six 70-minute instructional cycles that include: social skills instruction, role play and modeling; therapeutic activities to practice skills

Weekly parent trainings (child care provided at no cost!)

COST:  $900/week ($4,500 total enrollment fee) 50% of cost of program due at program acceptance; 50% of remaining balance due before the start of the program (July 5). Checks made out to Mercyhurst University with "summerMAX @ Mercyhurst" in memo line.

Application can be obtained by emailing summerMAX @ Mercyhurst Director, Susan Johnson at

Have you heard?  Dustin Nesbitt will be swimming across the bay to raise money for Autism Society NWPA and WCTL radio.

10th Annual Bay Swim:  
One Mile Swim Across Presque Isle Bay

on Saturday, June 17, 2017

"I hope this has made a difference in your life, because life is about making a difference," said Nesbitt.  "You can do anything you put your mind to."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Dustin on his journey. If you would like to donate, visit:

If you would like to make a donation to the Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania click on the button to donate online or mail a check to Autism Society NWPA P.O. Box 3923, Erie, PA 16508

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