Continuing in the holiday spirit of giving back, the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group hosted appreciation dinners in January to honor support staff, families and friends impacted by autism. Honorees were nominated and selected for their commitment and dedication to raising awareness of autism spectrum disorder or for making a significant impact in the lives of individuals with autism.
On January 16th, Smith & Wollensky Chicago hosted Coach Pa’al Joshi from Glenbrook United (GBU) Special Olympics team which is made up of a diverse group spanning autism, physical disabilities and special needs. He was joined by his coaching team and a few of his athletes. The GBU Special Olympics team was developed during the 2010 school year and in that short time his boys & girls teams won the 2011 Illinois State Volleyball Championship and the boys basketball team placed 3rd in the 2010 Illinois State Tournament.
Through his passion and dedication, Coach Joshi has not only helped his athletes learn a sport, but also help build their self-esteem and earn respect. The newly formed group has brought kids, parents and two school systems together. It has increased awareness of the program, the disabilities and the needed support for these deserving kids have increased tremendously.
Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is a proud supporter of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. For more information on the foundation’s grants and programs, please visit www.flutiefoundation.org.