2018 Holiday Party

When: Sunday, Dec 9, 2018, 2:30-5:30p

Where: First Church of God Community Center

Who: ASGHA/ASA Members 

ASGHA is exited to announce that registration to our Annual Holiday event is OPEN! This year’s event is going to be AMAZING!!! As discussed in our Annual Meeting in May 2018, the board of directors has made some changes to registration, shopping, and the event itself which we hope will not only streamline the process for our families and volunteers but will also make it more sensory friendly to attendees. 

One big change many will see during registration is that we are reverting this event back to a Member-Only event. The decision was not made to exclude anyone but was a necessary decision made due to the extreme popularity of this event and our inability to accommodate everyone who registered the past three years (last year we had 368 registered participants and a waitlist of more than 150 people!). This caused frustration for many who were unable to register as well those who attended an event that was extremely crowded. Therefore, the decision was made to revert the Holiday Party back to a Holiday Celebration combined with a Celebration of the many families who financially support us through dues, allowing us to maintain so many free and low-cost events to so many throughout the year! Because we are a fully volunteer-led 501(c)3c we rely heavily on donations, fundraisers, and our local community to create an annual budget which can provide so much for all the families we serve across our 13 counties. Members currently receive the ability to utilize 12 free respite visits per year as well as the opportunity to attend our Bi-Annual Weekend Getaway. Moving forward the Holiday Party will also be once again included as a Thank-You to member families for helping us help so many! (To learn more about membership, visit: http://bit.ly/ASGHAmembership).

ASGHA/ASA Members are invited to attend our annual Holiday Party at the First Church of God Community Center in Mechanicsburg (201 E. Green Street).  The party begins at 2:30pm and will include Crafts, Carols, Food, Balloons for the kids, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and fun for the whole family.

Members MUST register via our registration form: http://bit.ly/ASGHA2018Holiday . Please read and fill out the registration form as completely as possible. Members may select a gift (up to $25) for each ASD child (ages 0-21) and their immediate siblings, who reside in the home with them, to receive at the party.  Parents will have the option to attend a shopping night to purchase gifts or may choose to have ASGHA purchase (online via Amazon Walmart, Target, or GameStop) gifts for them. Should a gift idea not be listed on the registration form and shopping night is not attended, ASGHA will purchase a gift card from one of the following online sites: Gamestop, Amazon, Walmart, Target, iTunes. Gifts will be wrapped by ASGHA for Santa and Mrs. Claus to distribute on the day of the party.  If an ASD young adult age 21+ will be attending the party with their family, the family has the option to bring a pre-wrapped/labeled gift for ASGHA to provide Santa to "gift" that day (our gifts will be wrapped utilizing gift bags). ALL gifts that are not retrieved by 5:30pm the day of the event will be donated as ASGHA cannot deliver/ship them once the event has ended. Every registering family will receive a confirmation of attendance or waitlist status by midnight on October 31st. If you have registered and not received an email by November 1st, please be sure to check your SPAM folder and then email us with your full name, email address, and phone number so we can check our registration file.  Questions pertaining the party should contact: holiday@autismharrisburg.com.

Volunteers are needed for the following areas the day of the event: crafts, raffle, registration, set up & clean up, and miscellaneous tasks.  We also need help wrapping gifts, transporting supplies to and from the party, transporting gifts to the party.  If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer, please email: holiday@autismharrisburg.com.

Registration CLOSES October 26, 2018 or when the event has reached capacity (250 people) 

REGISTER HERE: http://bit.ly/ASGHA2018Holiday


Mark Your Calendars (2018)

2018 Save the Dates

Annual Logan's Run and Walk: April 21, 2018 (Registration is Closed - TENTATIVE 2019 Date: 4/27/19)

Annual Sensory Picnic: May 20, 2018 (Registration is closed - 2019 Date: 5/19/19)

Day at the Senators: June 16, 2018, 6pm (Registraiton is closed)

Camp Day Event: July 20, 2018, 5-8pm (Registration Closed)

M&H Railroad ASGHA Family Train Ride - August 4, 2018, 5pm (Registration Closed)

Annual Holiday Party: TBA - December (Registration Opens in November)


2018 S&E Calendar 

January 11th - Gary Blumenthal

February 8th - Jim Gainer, Farm of Hope, Hope Springs Farm

March 8th - Kelly Brandenburg, Parent to Parent

April 12th - Kelly Arnold, Statewide Employment Lead at ODP

May 10th - General Membership Meeting

June, July, August - Social Events to be Announced, No Meetings

September 13th - TBA

October 11th - TBA

November 8th - TBA

December - Holiday Party, No Meeting

At each meeting a light refreshment and/or supper is provided at 6:30pm, followed by our meeting at 7:00pm. Teen Social Group and Childcare are provided free of charge from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (each require RSVP via form: http://bit.ly/ASGHAregistrarionSE, by the 2nd Monday of each month. Questions regarding the meeting may be directed to: execassistant@autismharrisburg.com)

Our Support & Education Meetings are open to the public and are held at the Capital Area IU located at 55 Miller Street, Summerdale.


2019 Save the Dates

Annual Logan's Run and Walk: TENTATIVE April 27, 2019 (Registration opens February)

Annual Sensory Picnic: May 19, 2019 (Registration to opens April)

Day at the Senators: TBA June

Camp Day Event: July 26, 2019, 5-7pm (Registration opens June)

August Event TBA

M&H Railroad ASGHA Family Train Ride - TBA October (Registration opens September)

Annual Holiday Party: December 7, 2019 (Registration Opens in November)



Locator Device Grant - History and Information

In 2005 Georgia Rackley came to the Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area with a dream. Like all of us in the Autism Community, she was still trying to come to terms with the recent tragic death of Logan Mitcheltree, a 9 year old with autism who wandered away from home on a cold winter evening. Searchers were not able to find him until it was too late. Georgia wanted to raise awareness not only about Autism but about this potentially deadly aspect. That was the birth of Logan's 5KRun and Walk for Autism Awareness.

Over the years this event has grown. Not only does it continue to raise awareness, but it has served as a major fundraiser, allowing the ASGHA to provide our local autism community with many opportunities and services.

ASGHA is delighted to announce that we can now do more than just raise awareness about the dangers of elopement. Through our new Locator Device Grant, we are able to provide families with financial support in obtaining a device that will track a wandering child. Applicants must reside in one of the counties served by ASGHA (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union, and York) and have medical proof of elopement risk due to an ASD.

For more information or questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact locatordevices@autismharrisburg.com

More Information


2018 CDC Autism Incident Rate - Statement from the Autism Society

Today (April 26, 2018), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated the incidence rate of autism among eight year olds in the United States.


This updated report occurs every two years. The incidence rate released in April 2016 showed that 1 out of 68 children were living with an autism diagnosis. Today’s incidence rate show the rate has increased to 1 out of 59 eight year olds.


For those involved in supporting the needs of individuals living with autism and their families, this increase is not surprising. Providers of services know that they are getting more calls for help than ever before. Unfortunately, the demands for help far exceed the available resources to assist an individual or his/her family.


When asked about the increased incidence rate, Scott Badesch, President/CEO of the Autism Society of America, stated, “Today’s announcement by the CDC of the increase of the incidence of autism is not surprising to the Autism Society. We are constantly seeing increased requests and need for services. What is surprising to us is that, despite the increase in the number of people with an autism diagnosis, we still are a nation that appears to accept that 70% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed and that as many are forced to live on below poverty income. We wrongly accept that over 50% of students with an autism diagnosis do not graduate high school on time or do not graduate at all. Autism remains a have and have not disorder; those with money are often able to get needed services, while those with limited resources are often denied services and put on waiting lists for up to eight or more years for government supported services. If, like me, you are concerned about today’s incidence rate announcement, commit to calling your elected officials and ask that they do way more than is now being done to help all impacted by autism have the highest quality of life possible."


For additional information on the announcement of the CDC, go to www.autism-society.org. If you want to talk with someone about autism or to help find a resource for a person living with autism, call the Autism Society of America’s professionally staffed Autism Source Contact Center at 1-800-3-AUTISM.

The Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area remains committed to helping provide supports to EVERY individual living with autism. For more information on our local Affiliate, please bookmark our webpage or visit us on Facebook. You may also email contact@autismharrisburg.com


September 13, 2018 Support & Education Meeting

Guest Speaker: TBA

At each meeting a light refreshment and/or supper is provided at 6:30pm, followed by our meeting at 7:00pm. Teen Social Group and Childcare are provided free of charge from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (each require RSVP via form: http://bit.ly/ASGHAregistrarionSE, by the 2nd Monday of each month. Questions regarding the meeting may be directed to: adminassistant@autismharrisburg.com)

Our Support & Education Meetings are open to the public and are held at the Capital Area IU located at 55 Miller Street, Summerdale.


13th Annual Logan's 5K Run and Walk for Autism 2018

ASGHA's 13th Annual Logan's 5K Run and Walk for Autism scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018 on City Island in Harrisburg, PA

Thank You for Another Amazing Year!


Be sure to visit and like our Logan's Run Facebook page for the most up to date information regarding our Walk and RUN as well as photo albums for the day. We will see you all again in April 2019!!!


Community Fundraisers for ASGHA

Become one of our 2018 Sponsors or create a Fundraiser for ASGHA and have your donation recognized HERE! 

To Learn More, Contact: Leora Appleby, President@autismharrisburg.com