4,782 Total Miles Logged!

This past April, students at The Birchtree Center ran and walked a total of 411 miles—and those miles made a big difference!   During the nonprofit’s first-ever Fitness Challenge for Autism Awareness Month, students logged as many miles as they could on treadmills and using pedometers at school, in their neighborhoods, and at the Seacoast Sports Clubs.   Students collected pledges per mile and helped raise over $21,000 for Birchtree’s Family Support Fund.

Total mileage for all challenge participants

Families, staff, board members, and friends of Birchtree also joined in the challenge.  Eighty-four participants logged a total of 4,782 miles—that’s the distance from here to northern Alaska!  Participants collected over 450 pledges from individuals in 23 states.  All pledges went to the nonprofit’s Family Support Fund, which helps underwrite admission-free autism workshops and essential educational expenses for families in need who are living with autism.




Bruce Dicker, vice president of Birchtree’s Board of Directors, jogged 103 miles during the challenge and raised $1,841 in pledges. He credits Birchtree’s students and staff with inspiring his efforts.  “Every day at Birchtree, we see students with autism who accomplish amazing things in spite of their challenges, and staff members who seem to have unlimited patience, care, and professionalism,” said Dicker.  “You can’t help but be inspired by their hard work!”On May 17, participants and their families gathered at Birchtree to walk a final ceremonial lap through the school.  Every student received a participation medal and certificate, and some individuals and teams received prizes for the most miles logged and the most pledges raised.



WMUR 9 New Hampshire television did a short story about our students’ work in the Fitness Challenge. You can view the story by clicking here.

Thank you to our generous event sponsors:
Thanks also to our prize donors and in-kind contributors:
Anneke Jans
Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, NH
Atkinson Graphics
The Birchtree Center Board of Directors
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
The Green Monkey
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Library Restaurant
New England Medical Insurance Agency
Robert’s Maine Grill
Seacoast Science Center
Seacoast Sports Clubs
Wendy DeLucci, Salon Sabéha
Wink Salon & Spa