Scavenger Hunt: it takes a village

FACT decided to make a bold move this year by moving the Scavenger Hunt to Ghent, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the decision. For starters, the people of Norfolk are simply outstanding. As you might imagine, when trudging along a new territory to spread the news about a charity fundraiser, we are not always greeted with open arms and ears. This was never the case in Ghent. From store clerks to restaurant managers, each and every individual we encountered was kind and welcoming- many even feeling compelled to help.

The compassion wasn’t bounded to only Ghent, either. The City of Norfolk has the most obliging, competent employees that we have had the pleasure of working with in quite a while. City employees have a lot on their plates, and it is not uncommon for a week to go by before receiving an answer to a matter as simple as trashcan placement. Again, this was not the case this time around. At one point, we had Ashley Johnson from the city calling us to ensure her reply via email was clear enough, and checking to see if we had any questions. Meanwhile, Timothy Forbes (Blair Middle School Assistant Principal) was shooting pictures of the school grounds with his phone, just to help us decide where to set up our DJ equipment. Bravo, Norfolk!

“Why the move,” you may ask? Your answer: if there is ever anything FACT can do to support EVMS, we want to do it. They make their home in the heart of Norfolk, so why not bring the fun to their neighborhood? Most importantly, EVMS is the primary reason the Scavenger Hunt exists. Their groundbreaking autism research will improve the lives of many people with autism.

In closing, we have to thank those who always have our backs. Without our loyal and enthusiastic Scavenger Hunt participants; our compassionate staff and volunteers; and our dependable and supportive sponsors, Kellam Mechanical; we would never be able to get this thing off of the ground.

Click here to see pictures from the event.

2015 Mid-Atlantic Home and Garden Show

2015 Mid-Atlantic Home & Garden Show
Last weekend the Tidewater Builders Association hosted this fantastic event, featuring an exciting line-up of celebrities and home and garden experts, offering something for everyone in the family.  Thanks to the support of Kellam Mechanical, F.A.C.T. had a booth at the show to spread the word about our programs and fund raising events.  Kellam also made a generous donation that will benefit our summer camp program.  We met so many nice people; donors, service providers, and families with autism. Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers that helped man the booth all weekend. We can’t wait for next year!


psychology club

FACT visits Princess Ann High School

FACT visits Princess Ann High School

On Wednesday 1/14 FACT addressed the Lighthouse club at P.A. FACT visits local high schools to discuss autism, volunteer opportunities, anti-bullying, and inclusion.  Identifying ways that young people can reach out to individuals with autism in their school community can make a real impact.  F.A.C.T. has always relied on peer volunteers to create an inclusive environment in all our programs.  WE thank the students and teachers at P.A. for their interest in helping and engaging our students.

Little Black Dress Fundraiser

Last Sunday the director, Pam Clendenen hostelbd1d a brunch and Little Black Dress Fundraiser, Champagne and shopping what could be more fun? It was lovely. If you missed it, we’ll be having another event when the spring line of dresses premiers. See you then.

Scavenger Hunt for Autism 2014 Recap

The 3rd annual Scavenger Hunt for Autism was a huge success both EVMS autism research and FACT programs like Cam Gonnnaannagoagin will receive much needed funding. The donors and volunteers all did a great job for making this years event the best yet. Congratulations to Taylor’s Troopers, Team Daniel, The VB Pirates and the Sandwiches who all won prizes on Sunday! To see our favorite pictures from the day click here.

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Our Youth Reaching Out

The Girls Scout Gold Award is the greatest and most esteemed accolade to ever be awarded in Girl Scouts. In fact, only about 5.4% of Girl Scouts manage to attain it. By achieving this honor, young girls are making astounding differences within their communities and across the globe. This is no leisurely task either; these altruistic females are required to complete-in addition to other prerequisites- a series of complex standards of excellence. These standards are created to challenge these young females to the fullest extent, in hopes of developing them into compelling, influential leaders. There are seven criteria to meet in order to meet these standards of excellence: identifying the issue, investigating thoroughly, gathering a team, creating a plan, presenting a plan and accepting feedback, taking action, and inspiring others. These girls are suggested to spend a minimum of 80 hours immersed in their projects in order to accomplish this great feat.
But why is this relevant to F.A.C.T.?
Olivia Fisher is an experienced Girl Scout and Camp Gonnawannagoagin’ veteran. Her previous work with children with autism, along with her desire to take a leadership role within her community, has compelled her to make F.A.C.T. the nucleus of her Gold Award pursuit. In order to execute this goal, she is organizing a project to create a F.A.C.T. float for the famed Holiday Parade at the Beach. Olivia wants to help generate awareness of F.A.C.T. specifically, and include teens with autism in a community event.
After doing the initial research necessary for the parade requirements and speaking to the administrative leaders of F.A.C.T., she is ready to gather her team and set her plan into action. Her team idea…genius. In case you are not familiar with F.A.C.T.’s teen night, we host a monthly excursion for high-functioning teens with autism so that they can engage in social opportunities with their peers. Olivia has decided to interweave her holiday float project with teen night, thus providing an outstanding chance for our teens to socialize with their peers, while simultaneously experiencing the fulfillment of accomplishing a group project. Olivia also plans to ask our teens for their design ideas, so that she can hopefully incorporate a little part of everyone into the mission.
This girl is, to say the least, unbelievable. She soon plans to launch an ice cream social fundraiser in order to raise money for float construction expenses, and I for one, am looking forward to supporting it. I can’t help but think of the activities I was involved in at 17-years-old. I think the most impressive thing I accomplished at that age was a grueling weekend schedule at Chuck E. Cheese. I do know one thing, I’m keeping this girl on my radar. I look forward to being impressed!
Lauren Cook