Autism Awareness Month - Hoops4Autism 2nd Annual Event

It is Autism Awareness month and Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (ESMC) hosted their very successful 2nd Annual Hoops4Autism event. Senator Michael Hastings kicked off the festivities with a heart warming and encouraging speech. Activities ranged from relay races, to a five-on-five basketball game with students and clients from the adult program. Students participated in basketball like competitions and were thrilled to receive handmade medals made by their very own


In the relay races, students competed against classes of their own age group. They took the basketball and had to dribble to a hula-hoop, which they did for a number of times. Then the students would shoot a basketball on a lower sized hoop. One student even ran as fast as he could and dunked the ball with two hands.


The part that everyone seemed to love was the five-on-five basketball game. The students were mentally preparing all day to face their friends in front of the crowd. Everyone had on white t-shirts with personal superhero names written on the back. Although this event was for the students to have fun, the parents and other people watching enjoyed the event as well.


Hoops4Autism is just one of the many events put on by HarrysButtons to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. ESMC was chosen to be the charity of choice in the Chicago WingMadness event on May 21, 2014 at Dick’s Last Resort in Downtown Chicago. Visit the ChicagoWingMadness website for more information on the event and how you can attend. was founded in 2004 by Harry Engnell Sr. to improve the lives and futures of individuals with Autism. “When my son Harry Jr. and I started 10 years ago in the basement of our home, I never would have imagined the growth we are experiencing today. It is great to see our mission come to life with Easter Seals,” said Engnell Sr.


The Engnell family partnered with ESMC in 2008, starting with five employees and shortly after, he donated the business to the non-profit organization. has locations in Tinley Park and Chicago with hopes of an expansion to Rockford with enough support from donations and grants. at Easter Seals is now providing meaningful employment opportunities to nearly 60 individuals living with Autism.



About Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago

Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago maximizes independence and creates opportunities for nearly 30,000 people with disabilities and other special needs to live, learn, work and play in their communities by providing a lifespan of premier services.  The organization offers a wide range of programs; some of which include: specialized therapeutic schools for children with autism, emotional behavior disorder, and/or severe learning disabilities; early intervention; inclusive child care; specialty clinics; adult job training and job placement programs for individuals with autism; and military/veterans programs. 




Photos: Courtesy of : Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago

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