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Colonie family to appear in autism documentary

Everts is also the vice president of technology and communications for The Tommy Foundation, founded by Evert's wife Sugey Cruz, which was created to assist in improving the quality of life for children with autism.

Everts will begin filming with Washburn Friday, July 30, where he will visit the family at their home then go with the kids to the Easter Seals Camp in Colonie, a six-week camp for children and young adults with physical, developmental and emotional disorders.

"We go to the Colonie Town Pool, we do arts and crafts, different sports, we have a talent show, a program called dance and movement, we have a dance crew come in and teach them dances from all over the world," said Camp Director Chuck Paravella. "It's like a typical camp."

Buddy and C.J. are two of the 10 children with autism attending the camp, which Paravella refers to as "the happiest place in the world." He complimented Washburn for her support in the autism community, hailing her as "very positive" about her situation.

"She's incredibly enthusiastic, upbeat and a great advocate for what she believes in," he said. "She's not just looking at the situation as something that has happened to her family, she's being proactive."

When asked about how the children will react to having cameras filming them for a documentary, Paravella said, "I think they'll get a kick out of them. I think it will be natural curiosity and excitement."

Also on the schedule for the filming are trips to Everybody Counts Physical Therapy Center in Berne, where the children participate in Hippotherapy, which is therapy through horseback riding. They will end their day filming in front of the Legislative Office Building in Albany with McDonald.

Washburn is excited to be able to tell her story in this documentary, as well as being able to show there aren't as many limitations on children with autism as many would think.

"I want people to know there are all these awesome things you can expose them to," she said. "My hope is that this film will be a positive and will help people. That's the bottom line.""

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