The annual Spring Break for Autism Fundraiser returns for its 15th year working to bring awareness to the children and adults living with the disorder.

The event will take place Saturday, March 21, from 7 to 11 p.m. at La Buona Vita, 200 Reilly St., Dunmore. Tickets cost $85, which includes food stations and an open bar. All proceeds go to the Greater Carbondale YMCA Autism Program and Arts Alive.

Cocktail attire is preferred for guests, who can expect food, music, raffle baskets, a silent auction and a “Booze Barrow” raffle. Items being raffled off include a signed football from Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly; an item from Scranton native, Hall of Fame football player and current NFL coach Mike Munchak; a trip from Travelworld; and works from local artists.

Peter Cosgrove, event co-chairman, started the fundraiser 15 years ago with his wife, Margo, to help their daughter and other children with autism.

“My wife and I have an autistic child, and we wanted to supply activities for these children,” Peter Cosgrove said. “We wanted to give them more things to do.”

The fundraiser has raised more than $300,000 for children and adults with autism since it started. The event’s committee consists of parents with children who have autism, and Peter Cosgrove wants others to understand what families like theirs face.

“We want to give back to those people that are currently struggling because we were in that position where we struggled with our daughter,” said Margo Cosgrove, event co-chairwoman. “When your child gets first diagnosed with autism, you almost don’t know what to do next.”

Even though the event has received “a great amount of support,” Margo Cosgrove said, they still hope it grows every year and gains even more awareness for these children.

“Our short-term goal is to raise awareness and get more people involved,” Peter Cosgrove said. “We want more people coming to our functions every year. In the long term, we want to help make life easier for these parents that have children with autism. We want to raise awareness for them.”

The Cosgroves feel that there aren’t a lot of things to do for kids with autism, and they want to change that by giving them activities so they can be with other kids just like them.

“All the money goes toward these kids for education and activities for them,” Peter Cosgrove said.

Spring Break for Autism aims to help parents and families so they know they’re not alone when dealing with this disorder. The Cosgroves want them to know they’re supported every step of the way.

“We stress to parents (that) life doesn’t end when your child gets diagnosed with autism or is on the spectrum,” Margo Cosgrove said.

The Cosgroves are always happily surprised at the support they get every year and hope for another great event this time around.

“Everyone has something that they’re passionate about, and this just happens to be ours because of our daughter Molly,” Margo Cosgrove said.

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9127


If you go

  • What: 15th annual Spring Break for Autism Fundraiser
  • When: Saturday, March 21, 7 to 11 p.m.
  • Where: La Buona Vita, 200 Reilly St., Dunmore
  • Details: Tickets cost $85 and can be purchased through Peter Cosgrove. Contact him for tickets or donations at 570-878-8611 or Checks can be sent to Spring Break for Autism, P.O. Box 508, Dunmore, PA 18512. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more information.