Raising autism awareness with plates of pasta

By Justin Andrews
By Matt Hicks

Raising autism awareness with plates of pasta

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 11:51 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With only one week left for Autism Awareness Month, one student program brought the community together around plates of pasta for a good cause.

Broome-Tioga BOCES had a little help from some local celebrities for its second annual Oak Tree Celebrity Pasta Dinner. Celebrities such as Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and Action News anchor Brandi Bailey joined characters such as Mario, Anakin Skywalker and Buddy the Bee to serve patrons and raise awareness of autism.

"There are so many children in our community that have autism, and to bring awareness to it, I mean, our program alone has over 160 children. And you think that is just a drop in the bucket, compared to how many there are in the whole community," said Oak Tree Program Principal Joan Knickerbocker.

The Oak Tree Program serves children 5 to 18 years old with autism.

There were also a variety of gift baskets being raffled off, with all proceeds going put on a carnival for the kids in May.