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'Super proud.' Raleigh high school students raise $205,000 to support Autism Society.

News & Observer - 12/11/2018

Dec. 11--RALEIGH -- In an effort that ran to the last possible minute, students at Enloe High School exceeded their goal of raising $200,000 to support the Autism Society of North Carolina.

At Saturday night's 2018 Enloe Charity Ball at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, Enloe's student council presented a $205,000 check to the Autism Society. The money will go toward the society's new IGNITE Center in Raleigh, a program which helps young people with autism learn to become more independent.

"It's the hardest I've ever worked," said Nate Barilich, director of the Charity Ball and an English teacher at Enloe. "It's the hardest that I've ever seen my students come together and work."

Praise from multiple quarters came in after the final amount was announced.

In multiple tweets, the Autism Society thanked the Enloe students for their "life-changing gift" that they said "will help hundreds of young adults in our community build fulfilling lives for decades to come!"

The IGNITE Center helps young people with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome make the transition from school to adult life. In addition to raising money, Enloe students have been volunteering at the center since it opened in September.

Will Chavis, principal of Enloe, tweeted that he's "super proud of these students!!!"

The Wake County school system dedicated Monday's snow day in honor of the "incredible achievement."

"We cannot get over how incredible this is!" Wake tweeted. "You are who we aspire to be!"

Barilich said next year's 15th annual ball will be a special one for the Raleigh magnet school after having raised $940,000 in 14 years for different charities. He said they'll want to capitalize on how they're going to break the $1 million mark in 2019.


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