CHS to raise awareness for autism

| March 25, 2014

COSHOCTON – Coshocton High School’s softball team will be playing for much more than a victory on Saturday, April 5. The 11 a.m. double header at Stewart Field against Newcomerstown High School will be an autism awareness game.

“Autism is not something I’m personally affected by, but I’ve seen it and dealt with it in the classroom as a teacher,” said Dani Duhamell, who is CHS’s coach. “I think it’s really important that people know about the struggles of the kids who have the disorder.”

The local autism awareness group will have an information tent set up at the game and there will be raffles, a 50/50 drawing, bake sale and concessions.

“We are still collecting donations for the raffle, but we know Katie Hultz is doing our bake sale,” Duhamell said. “Her son is affected by autism and she was ready to help us out anyway she can.”

They also plan to have honorary managers.

“There are two families from the community that we are working hand and hand with to show the faces of autism,” Duhamell said. “A little boy and little girl (from the families) will be the honorary managers and help us out with balls and come on to the field with the girls.”

Special t-shirts also were made for the teams to wear.

“We worked locally with Carroll’s Men’s Shop to have them done,” Duhamell said. “Ours are blue (the color for autism) and white and Newcomerstown’s are orange and black. Steve Murray made extra for us to sell. I believe they are white and will cost $10-$15.”

Anyone interested in ordering a shirt, can contact Tammy Gore at 294-0798.

“This is something that we really need to draw attention to,” Duhamell said. “It’s a broad disorder. No two kids show the same systems of autism. It’s something that really needs researched and that I feel strongly about.”

Her team also is passionate about the subject.

“When we talked about what we wanted to do an awareness game for this was something they brought up,” Duhamell said. “We have one player whose brother is on the autism spectrum so this is important to her and her family and another player has a cousin who is special needs.  They wanted to do something to give back to the community and help out where they could.”

All money raised during the game will be used to help the local autism awareness group.

“One thing they talked about needing was sensory toys in the local preschools,” Duhamell said. “Some of the preschools don’t have the funds to provide the sensory and stimulation toys so it’s something that might get purchased with the money. I’m a preschool teacher at Coshocton County Head Start so I know it’s something that really is needed.”

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Category: High School

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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