Go Long for Luke, a nonprofit that supports children with autism and other neurological disorders, will host its fifth annual flag football charity event Sept. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Chastain Park in Buckhead.
Children ages 6 to 16 are invited to sign up to play flag football or make a donation (adults and other kids can also donate).
In 2013, twin brothers Cole and Jesse Faller and Sophie Greenfield created Go Long for Luke, a nonprofit, to support autism. Cole was inspired by his best friend, Luke Greenfield, 14, Sophie’s twin brother, who is autistic. Along with their parents, these kids created a truly memorable, innovative and remarkable fundraiser meant to send out a heartfelt message to Luke.
They have also developed a strong bond extending their friendship to the rallying of their community in Roslyn, New York, in support of autism. Luke and his family now live in Atlanta and are thrilled to bring Go Long for Luke to the Atlanta community.
“Luke has autism,” Cole wrote in a poem about his friend. “It’s okay. ... Autism is just a different way of thinking. … It’s fun to play with him because he is so fast. All the time he runs everywhere. I love to chase him. ... Luke has a sister named Sophie and parents just like me. He has many friends also. Some kids with autism hear, see, smell and taste differently than other people. He covers his ears if someone screams. To Luke, it sounds about 10 times louder. He cannot communicate that well, so he does it through an iPad. He has a schedule, too. Luke understands some things differently. That’s my buddy Luke.”
Luke’s mother, Sandi Greenfield, said, “It was so important for Cole, Jesse and Sophie and their parents to make Go Long for Luke about kids raising awareness for kids with autism. Flag football was an idea the kids had and originally had 20 kids to play and the first event turned into 120 kids playing flag football!”
Luke attends the Jacobs Ladder School in Buckhead, and all proceeds will be going to that school, which serves children with all types of neurological disorders – autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, brain injury to a range of learning disabilities and genetic disorders.
The flag football event will include music by the Rhythm Entertainment DJ, digital photos and a social sharing kiosk by Button It Up, Kate Nicole Jewelry, raffles, face painting and more.
Registration for the event is $25 and must be done online by Sept. 19, but donations can be made at any time.
Chastain Park is located at 140 W. Wieuca Road. For more information on the event or to register or make a donation, visit www.golongforluke.org.