Pictured (l-r): Tammy Helmer-Bergen, Guardianship Coordinator; Dylan Mundorff; Kathleen Walsh; and Jessica Lamanna, Supports & Services Director.

Herkimer, NY – The fifth annual Tom Bergen Memorial Autism Awareness Bowling Tournament took place in March, raising money for Arc Herkimer’s Autism Program, which provides support and services to individuals with disabilities and their families.

This year’s event raised $4,000 for Arc Herkimer, helping to purchase computers, tablets, headphones, and protective cases for the agency’s day habilitation services.

Each year, the event is spearheaded by Tammy Helmer-Bergen, Guardianship Coordinator at Arc Herkimer, to honor her son, Tom, who had autism and passed away suddenly in 2016. Tom enjoyed bowling, was an advocate for autism awareness and was a dedicated volunteer at Arc Herkimer for more than 16 years. He also had a mind for electronics and enjoyed dabbling in technology.

“Tammy has been donating money in memory of her son for many years and understands that having updated electronics, such as those with a touch screen, allows people we support of all ages & abilities to engage in technology at some level,” says Jessica Lamanna, Supports & Services Director, Arc Herkimer. “Overall, the new equipment will aid staff in working with individuals on personalized goals that help boost independence and maintain skills they already have while having fun.”