June 10, 2013
John Kenny ’13TCB and Nathan Holmes ’13TCB marked their graduation
from the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John's
University with an act of altruism.
The friends teamed up with the Developmental Disabilities
Institute, Inc., (DDI) of Smithtown, New York, to host a charity
walk to raise $25,000 for the expansion and renovation of DDI’s
Little Plains School and Children's Residential Project, which
provides educational and residential programs for severely
developmentally disabled children.
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The walk, “From the Bridge to the Beach—Walking Long Island
for Autism,” which covered 128 miles over eight days,
kicked off on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at the
Brooklyn Bridge. That afternoon, Victoria Shoaf, Ph.D., dean of the
College, hosted a lunch for the walkers in the D’Angelo Center on
the Queens campus. Stops on the way to the June 4 finish line at
Montauk Lighthouse included Mineola, Huntington, Westhampton Beach
and Bridgehampton. Fellow St. John's students Morgan Zajkowski,
Marita Rausch, Liam Kenny and Michael Sardone joined the walk and
stayed with DDI host families on their journey.
“My decision to help organize the walk was greatly influenced by my
four years at St. John's," Kenny explained. "The University taught
me about the importance of serving the community. The chance to
help an organization like DDI is especially important to me in
light of the prevalence of autism in the United States. My
uncle is a chiropractor and cares for many autistic patients.
Having spent a lot of time at his office, I became aware of how
difficult it can be for families to deal with developmental
“At St. John’s," Holmes said, "I gained an appreciation for giving
back to the community. This was a perfect chance to use the skills
I learned in my classes." Holmes added. "autism is a cause close to
my heart. I spent much of my childhood with a family who had a son
my age who was autistic. I saw how challenging it was for them.
This experience helped me to appreciate the great work DDI
To date, Kenny and Holmes have raised over $22,000 in donations, a
figure they hope will continue to grow. Funds raised will help pay
for added classroom capacity at the school as well as long-awaited
renovations including handicap accessibility, an HVAC system
upgrade, roof replacement, lighting upgrades and other improvements
to increase the energy-efficiency of the building.
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About the Developmental Disabilities
The Developmental Disabilities Institute, founded in 1961, serves
over 1,500 children and adults with autism and related disorders,
providing educational, residential, day habilitation and vocational
services, as well as medical and dental services to over 5,000
patients through its Opti-Healthcare division across Long Island,
About the Peter J. Tobin College of Business
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business has provided a high-quality
business education for over eighty years, offering individuals from
throughout the world the opportunity to study in New York’s dynamic
business environment. The innovative curriculum emphasizes an
analytic and hands-on understanding of business practice that
prepares graduates to excel in today’s global marketplace.
For additional information about the Peter J. Tobin College of
Business, please contact Asia Hauter at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
us at www.stjohns.edu/tobin.