Any fan of Star Wars will tell you, when battling a moon-sized space station, the secret to victory is to hit the trenches hard. So you’ll understand how counter-intuitive this advice will seem: when attending Summit Educational Resource’s The Empire Strikes 4 Bucks, whatever you do, STAY OUT OF THE TRENCHES!
The Empire Strikes for Bucks is bowling tournament to be held Sunday, October 26th 2014. All of the proceeds of this tournament, and its accompanying open bowling session, benefit Summit Educational Resources and help to raise autism awareness. The team tournament will be held from 12:30-3:30, and open bowling will run 12-4. Also included at this great event are basket raffles, video games, and a special viewing of Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. There will be interactive performances with Star Wars cosplayers from The North Ridge as well as arts and crafts and low-sensory activities.
ES4B is the brainchild of Nick Rockwell, a teacher at Summit. “[We] wanted to create an event that would be accessible to our students and others with similar challenges, raise money for our school, and raise awareness for autism,” Nick says. He and his colleagues gathered volunteers and recruited The North Ridge, whose commitment to the community was an inspiration for the event. “I had met members of The North Ridge, a local Star Wars costume group, and was inspired by their commitment to community. I asked them if they would be interested in doing something together to benefit Summit, and they were happy to sign up. My love of Star Wars and the dedication of my colleagues and other volunteers from the community made the rest of it fun and relatively easy.”
The model for this month’s ES4B is based on an event held earlier in the year. “January 1st, 2014 was our first event. We had open bowling where guests chose to bowl for the rebels or the Empire (the rebels won, but by a small margin). We had a Jedi Academy run by the North Ridge characters, video games, face painting, a large basket raffle, 50/50, and more. It was a big success, and the 200 guests who attended had a great time and had many positive things to say about it. We raised $2,700, hosted an event where families with and without autism participated in activities side by side, and raised awareness for autism. We wanted to do it again but without the risk of being snowed out (we were sandwiched between two significant storms).
This year we added a bowl-a-thon to appeal to guests who may want to compete to raise money or bowl. We continue to offer open bowling, which is a favorite with families with children.”
Summit Educational Resources is an amazing organization of dedicated teachers and staff. Their two locations offer a variety of services to families who are working to perservere through developmental, social, and behavioral challenges. Aside from the school, training programs are offered to parents and caretakers, there are vocational programs offered to those with autism, and the group actively takes part in autism research. Many staff members have contributed articles for publication in the field.
This event is not one to be missed, so be sure to get your discounted tickets ahead of time. The time put in by those who are voluntarily organizing these events is a testament to their passion for these kids and their families. Grab a few friends, and throw a team together! Don your Jedi robes, clip your lightsaber to your utility belt, and head on down to Thruway Lanes. No matter what happens, you can’t do worse than the Stormtroopers. Those guys miss everything! Let’s show Summit some Hyperspaced, Bounty-hunted, Force-fueled Buffalove.