Big Board Traders Launch Fundraiser to Build School for Autistic Kids
Traders Magazine Online News, May 3, 2012
However, a number of colleagues at the Big Board noticed that he wore a Newmark School pin and asked about it. A few months ago, several traders decided it was time to hold an event to help the school. Peter Kennedy, a market maker with Getco Securities, is credited by colleagues with formally proposing the event.
Niederauer was delighted. "I never asked for it. Traders just decided they wanted to help," Niederauer said. "It is another example of just how generous traders can be," he adds.
Things started moving quickly and now Niederauer hopes the event, which will include several auctions, could raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the new school, whose price tag is expected to be about $10 million.
"People were saying Duncan's involved so why don't we all get involved," explains Joseph Quintilian, an upstairs commodities trader with Axiom Partners. Quintilian, who sits on the committee that runs the May 9 event, praises Niederauer. However, he disagrees with him on one point.
"I expect that we will raise a lot more than $200,000," he predicts.
The new school is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
E&J Securities' Ryan says, "There's a big problem with many school districts not knowing how to deal with these children." When autistic kids, who are often quite bright, are put in environments where their differences stand out, that can lead to teasing and then problems compound. Being with other autistic children, in a supportive setting, can mean the difference between a happy and a miserable child, he says.
"What happens in New Jersey is some of our kids' needs are greater than what the public schools can serve," adds Cynthia Allman, a co-founder of Newmark School. "And what these kids need is a much smaller, more specialized, more nurturing environment to get them to the next step in life."
So what do the dollars accomplish that Niederauer and other trading officials raise?
The goal of the school, says Dr. Peter, is to guide children into a well-adjusted adulthood, avoiding the traumas of untreated illness. The result is the realization of human potential.
"We have kids who go to college," she says. "We have kids who are going into post-graduate work. We have kids who are going to be functioning adults, but they just need something different than what the public schools can offer."
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