Celebrating its 5th year, the Team Giancarlo Bocce Tournament & Family Festival raised $5,200 for Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. The tournament, founded by Hamden residents Carlo and Melody Lucatino and sister-in-law Kelley Lucatino of North Haven, was held at Brooksvale Park in Hamden on Sunday, June 23. A record twenty-eight bocce teams came out to support the Lucatino’s oldest son, Giancarlo, and all children and adults with autism.
“We honor your outstanding efforts to support the mission of Autism Speaks,” said State Representative David Yaccarino (R-87) who presented the award to the Lucatino’s on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly. “We join with your family, friends, and neighbors near and far to show support and love for all of our children who are on the autism spectrum. You are an inspiration to all.”
“I am overwhelmed by the love and generosity shown by our family, friends and all our supporters,” said Melody Lucatino. “We can’t change what our children and adults with autism have, but we can make their lives better through research and the daily support needed for the families.”
About 1 out of 59 children live with autism in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s April 2008 report. This number has increased from its 2016 report estimating that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have autism.
The event’s main sponsor, Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza of Hamden, part of Eli’s Restaurant Group, generously provided lunch and gift cards for the winners. The Group also donated $500. Eighteen businesses sponsored the bocce courts and over 50 businesses donated raffle prizes.
About Team Giancarlo Bocce Tournament
The Lucatino family founded the Team Giancarlo Bocce Tournament in 2014. The goal of the tournament is to raise awareness and funds for children living with Autism. The family donates all proceeds from the bocce tournament to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. To learn more, visit the Team Giancarlo Events and Awareness Facebook Page.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To learn more, visit Autism Speaks.