An East Quogue teen accomplished her goal of walking 90 miles and raising more than $5,000 for the Flying Point Foundation for Autism last month.
In October, Anna Tuzzolo, 13, started her mission of raising money to support the Water Mill-based nonprofit that provides support and programs for children and families affected by autism. The idea was for Anna to walk a total of 90 miles—the distance of a round-trip to Montauk Point from her hometown—to draw attention to autism and the foundation.
So far, Anna, who has autism and has been involved in the Flying Point Foundation since its first summer camp in 2010, has raised $5,800, with donations still arriving from both near and far.
She chipped away by taking walks a few times a week, sometimes back and forth across the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays, sometimes around the East Quogue Village Green. She capped off the final miles while on a family vacation in Key West, Florida, her mother, Patty Tuzzolo said.
“It was beyond what we thought it was gonna be,” said Ms. Tuzzolo, who sits on the board at the Flying Point Foundation. “It was just kind of an idea to get her some exercise and raise some money for something that she enjoys, and it just turned into this community fundraiser.
“Anna didn’t do this by herself,” she continued. “Obviously, she did all the walking, but this was a collective effort.”
Ms. Tuzzolo, who also sits on the East Quogue Board of Education, said she has done fundraisers herself for the foundation, but this year Anna wanted to get involved. After her daughter walked in a 5K race with her life skills trainer, Melissa Garnier, in September, Ms. Tuzzolo realized walking would be the best way for Anna to get involved.
Anna’s family and friends, some of whom live in East Quogue and others who traveled from as far away as Westchester County, joined Anna on her walks, Ms. Tuzzolo said.
“It was definitely a huge, huge community that rallied behind her,” she said.
Donations can be made online through a link available on the Flying Point Foundation Facebook page, or by mailing them to the Flying Point Foundation for Autism, 25 Farmstead Lane, Water Mill, NY, 11976.