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

Making an ‘impact’: Enloe High students raising $200,000 for Autism Society of NC

Students at Enloe High School are raising $200,000 in the 2018 Enloe Charity Ball to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina’s new IGNITE center in Raleigh. The center helps young people make the transition from school to adult life.
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Students at Enloe High School are raising $200,000 in the 2018 Enloe Charity Ball to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina’s new IGNITE center in Raleigh. The center helps young people make the transition from school to adult life.

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.”

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Members of Enloe High School’s student council hold the $205,000 check they presented to the Autism Society of North Carolina at the Enloe Charity Ball at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, N.C., on Dec. 8, 2018. Anthony Fitzpatrick

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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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.
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