The Nicholas Center in Port Washington held its largest fundraising event last month, which raised more than $200,000 for the nonprofit.
Co-founders Stella L. Spanakos and Nicole Ferrara were joined by local officials and guests at the Night in White event held on Thursday, July 20 at the North Hempstead Country Club.
The event honored Daniel Ryan and Unsung Siblings Foundation and celebrated the past year of vocational training, community partnerships and employment for autistic adults, who face an 85% unemployment rate and under-engagement rate once school ends, according to an organization statement.
Ryan has been an advocate for the special needs and veterans’ communities and has raised more than $10 million for various charities over the past 20 years, according to the statement.
A father to three boys, including Jonathan, a young man with autism, Ryan is a longtime supporter of The Nicholas Center and formed the Unsung Siblings Foundation in 2016 to address the needs of siblings of special needs individuals and its community.
“Philanthropy has always been my greatest priority,” Ryan said. “I have done my best to make sure I give back to communities in need.”
The Nicholas Center supports individuals with autism in leading full and productive lives in the community.
“This year we launched several new programs to advance opportunity and employment of autistic individuals, including a podcast, Agents of Humanity, co-hosted by four autistic adults and Port Provides Powered by The Nicholas Center, where our participants source, pack and deliver cleaning supplies and care items to pantries serving 1,400 neighbors-in-need in Port Washington,” said Spanakos.