A Bridge to Understanding Autism

We are Mary Beth and Dan Reardon, but these days we are better known as Mema and Pappy. We are setting out on a great adventure to start on foot in California and walk our way across the country back home to New York.

We are using our life's goal of crossing the country to help kids with special needs cross their own boundaries.

Our walk will raise public awareness and financial support for inclusion programs like Athletes 4 Autism (A4A), which helps kids of all abilities learn how to make friends, stand up to bullying, and improve physical fitness while learning to play recreational sports.

These fun and fundamental programs are completely free to families, which means the overhead costs to "get every kid in the game" need to come from somewhere. That's where we all can come in.

The whole idea of walking across the country started many years ago. It was a thought: kinda crazy. Now, we are 60 years old-- both retired-- and the thought returned. We have always been responsible in raising our family, but now with grown kids who have families of their own, it is our time to fly and be free; to explore and learn again.

 Our feelings of gratitude for where we are in our lives is overwhelming, so we wondered: "how do we combine our desire for fun and adventure with our desire to somehow give back"?

As we tossed the ideas around, and our kids and grandkids got involved, it didn't take us long to know who we wanted to dedicate our adventure to.

We have been inspired by Lilly and the Steiner family, and their journey in the world of Autism. We are not the ones to speak on behalf of Autism, but to be inspired in the ways we have, check out the Steiners' blog: http://theautismresearchfoundation.org/category/michelle-and-lilly-steiner

We are making the plans and trusting that this journey will work out just the way it is suppose to.

Will you help us help Athletes 4 Autism?

Our starting goal is $50,000.00, which will provide free sports programs to kids with autism and their typical peers.  These sport programs adapt to the special needs of each individual child, while encouraging typical kids to understand autism from first-hand experience.  In the process, kids actually begin to appreciate their differences and become friends because of them not in spite of them.

All donations will be mailed directly to Athletes 4 Autism's parent charity: The Autism Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-deductible non-profit dedicated to helping all families experiencing autism, just like Lilly's.

P.S. If you or someone you know is interested in a business sponsorship, send us an email at: [email redacted]

You can also follow along with us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Bridgetounderstandingautism


  • Zippity Doo's 
    • $50 
    • 84 mos
  • John LeBlanc 
    • $100 
    • 86 mos
  • Lisa & Chuck Voyles 
    • $50 
    • 87 mos
  • Kelli George 
    • $35 
    • 87 mos
  • Rebecca Borden 
    • $50 
    • 87 mos
See all


Dan Reardon 
North Bellmore, NY
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.