RVC resident to chair Autism Speaks Walk

Last year’s Autism Speaks Walk drew thousands of people from all over.
Last year’s Autism Speaks Walk drew thousands of people from all over.
Rebecca Anderson/Herald

Rockville Centre resident Anthony Cancellieri has been named chairman of this year’s Autism Speaks Walk, which is slated for Oct. 1 at Jones Beach.

Cancellieri, vice president at Park Strategies and vice chairman at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, has served the local community for decades. He was also recently appointed to the Associates Board at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Development, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

He is a father of three children and grandfather of eight, and his grandson Louis, 4, was diagnosed with autism two years ago. Cancellieri, along with his wife, Mary Lou, joined forces with Autism Speaks and created a campaign, RVC Blue Speaks, in the hope of raising awareness and donations for the cause. In less than a year, RVC Blue Speaks has raised more than $40,000.

Autism affects one in 68 children in the United States and one of every 42 boys, making it the country’s fastest growing serious developmental disability. The mission of Autism Speaks is to change the future for those who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. The organization is dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and a cure for autism, as well as increasing public awareness about autism in order to bring hope to those affected by it.

The Autism Speaks Walk, the organization’s signature fundraising event, is the largest of its kind to support the diverse needs of the autism community. This grassroots movement is driven by volunteers and powered by love. Cancellieri, according to the organization, was chosen for his experience and his dedication to family, and as chairman of the event, will recruit, train and manage a volunteer leadership team in hopes of eclipsing a fundraising goal of $1.2 million.

“I am extremely pleased to offer whatever help I can to Autism Speaks,” Cancellieri said. “It is so important that we help all those affected, as well as, to continue the search to find the root cause. I encourage all the caring people living on Long Island to lend a hand and support this extremely important event.”

The event, which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Jones Beach Field 5, is expected to have more than 30,000 participants this year. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and walk will start at 10 a.m. For more information on Autism Speaks LI and the Autism Speaks Walk, contact Ed Russo at (516) 809-8211 or Longisland@AutismSpeaks.org.