Team Robby is dedicated to the irrepressible spirit and charm that Robby Schulz spread around him like sunshine on a cloudy day. His brother, Nick Schulz, and their family created Team Robby as a fundraiser to honor Robby, who passed away last year in an accident at the age of 14. “Our family wanted to do something positive, to take action that Robby’s relatives and friends could rally around,” explains Nick. “With Robby being autistic, it made sense to raise money and awareness for an autism organization.”
Nick, Robby, and their two siblings grew up in Atlanta, where their parents still live. Nick describes Robby as an energetic, enthusiastic teenager who loved Minecraft, interacting with other people, and making jokes, especially puns.
When Nick searched for an organization to contribute to, he found OAR and appreciated its mission to apply “research to the challenges of autism…to address the social, educational, and treatment concerns of self-advocates, parents, autism professionals, and caregivers.”
“That outpouring of support helped with the grieving process, giving us something positive that could offset in some way the tragic situation.”
Because of the inability to gather for an event due to the pandemic, Nick reached out virtually to friends and family, setting a goal of $3,000 that he intended to use to support a college scholarship through OAR’s Scholarship Program.
Word spread through email and social media, and Nick began to see donations coming in from people he and his family didn’t even know. Team Robby raised more than $55,000, a total that “blew me away,” says Nick. “That outpouring of support helped with the grieving process, giving us something positive that could offset in some way the tragic situation.”
With the Team Robby funds, OAR plans to fund:
- An applied research study, “Facing Your Fears on Campus,” which will evaluate a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention to ease anxiety for autistic college students
- Four scholarships
- Two graduate research grants
Nick and his family plan to continue their fundraising efforts with an event sometime this summer though they have not decided yet exactly what it will be.
As Robby might say, “That’s eggcellent.”