On November 19th, Pathway held its first-ever virtual fundraising and friend-raiser event to celebrate our 60-year legacy of promoting success and independence for students with special needs. Over 100 attendees participated in the event which raised funds for Pathway students via a silent auction, raffle items, donations, and videos of current and past staff, students, and parents to highlight Pathway’s achievements.

The virtual event included a featured guest, Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic and author of “The Power of Fun!”, who shared how instrumental Pathway is to its students’ success and how The Power of Fun and the Phillie Phanatic has influenced him. Dave Raymond stated, “I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned about the power of fun and what being the Phanatic taught me, one of the best ways to build sustainable happiness in your life is to be kind. And when your kind, what you don’t realize is an enormous amount of benefit comes back to you”.

Preceding the featured guest, Alumni Speaker Chris Hall (09’) shared how attending Pathway encouraged him to follow his dream of becoming a professional mascot. He noted that at Pathway he gained confidence and his hard-working ability through job positions held thanks to Pathway’s Career Education Department. Chris explained that he attended Pathway social events in costume which led him to finding his passion for being a mascot. Since leaving Pathway, Chris has performed more than 25 characters as a Freelance Mascot including Chick-fil-A Cow, Wally the Goose (Wawa), Pirate Pete (Cape May Lewes Ferry), Ice Guy (Rita’s Water Ice), Easter Bunny, Fantasy Dragon, Rudolph, Kirby the Krimpet (Tastykake), Daniel Tiger, and many more. During the event, Chris shared a brief clip of his story that was featured on season 2 of HULU’s Original Series “Behind the Mask”.

The Pathway Experience raised awareness and funds to support Pathway’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund as well as donations for a UV Air Cleaning System for classroom buildings, Chromebooks, social distancing and PPE supplies, sensory seating and toys for our students, and countless additional donations to be used where funds are most needed.

“We are so grateful to our generous Pathway families and staff, sponsors, and friends who attended, donated, and supported The Pathway Experience, a virtual event. Thanks to their continued and generous support, Pathway is able to provide leading-edge special education and clinical supports to our deserving students!  We hope to ‘see’ those who attended this year’s event, and many more from our Pathway community, at our next event supporting our inspiring students.” Jory Barrad, Director of Development at The Pathway School.