It’s Year 6 of the annual Celebrity Waiter fundraising event held by Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his wife Traci. To celebrate, the couple will be doing – well, the same thing they’ve always done.
“If it’s not broke, we’re not gonna fix it,” Traci told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” on Monday.
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The sold-out fundraiser benefits the Schneiders’ organization, Ben’s Fund, which provides grants in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington to families around the state who support a child or children on the autism spectrum. The grants cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and other resources the child may need.
The Schneider’s 14-year-old son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, and they became autism advocates after seeing firsthand how expensive it is to raise a child under these circumstances.
“We want (other parents) to know they’re not alone,” Traci told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “And people get it. We know how isolating it can be, we know what a struggle it is and we know how hard it is on the whole entire family itself. Just so they can feel that and know that, it truly does help you get through the day sometimes.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. Traci said Ben’s Fund has given over 1,100 grants across the state.
The event is set for April 20 at El Gaucho in Bellevue but an online auction went live Tuesday morning. Among the items for bid are an autographed Tyler Lockett jersey, Kam Chancellor football and Russell Wilson helmet.