“When I started to get involved with the Wall Street rides, I was surprised by the number of people that I knew who are affected by this and we don’t know about it. So, I think whatever we can do to create more awareness around this is very important.”
The combined North American initiative is aiming to raise $1 million for the Autism Science Foundation. It was founded in the U.S., but Schmitt has registered the Canadian branch of the charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. The Bay Street Ride is aiming to raise $100,000 for Canadian research and initiatives since the foundation wants to discover what causes autism, how it can be addressed, and how best to provide more support for families with autism.
Schmitt is pleased with the results, especially given it’s been an intense year with setting all of this up, plus running the exchange, closing the Cboe acquisition, “and doing a few other things in my life”.
“The entire family is affected by this – not just the child and parents, but other children, too. It doesn’t set anyone up for an easy life,” said Schmitt., who hopes this initiative now will attract attention from many other locations. “I hope we can expand and grow it next year.”