Traci Schneider set a goal for the amount of money she hoped to raise at last week’s Prime Time Celebrity Waiter event to benefit “Ben’s Fund.” But she also was hoping that get-to figure wasn’t out of reach.
“I was hoping we were going to raise more than $300,000, but oh my gosh,” said Schneider, the wife of Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
“It’s incredible. It’s absolutely incredible,” Schneider said. “It just totally blew away our expectations for this year. It’s just so cool.”
The money will be used to help families who have autistic children, and getting the Super Bowl champion Seahawks involved will help raise awareness as well. Both are important to Traci and John Schneider because their 12-year-old son, Ben, was diagnosed as being autistic at the age of 3.
“It’s just incredible, the number of families we can help with that,” Traci Schneider said.
As for the Seahawks’ involvement increasing the awareness, Schneider shared a story from the night of the event.
“Then he was diagnosed with autism, and it just really turned her on and really changed her point of view. So just hearing stories like that, and so many people at the event and outside the event have shared those touching stories, I can’t tell you what that means.”
The first event in 2012 raised $250,000. Last year, it was $270,000. Next year, the goal will be to top this year’s impressive sum of $382,000.
“I’m not quite sure how we’re going to do that,” Schneider said with a laugh. “But it’s not only the money, it’s the awareness. It’s just huge. And that’s what we hoped for. To be able to have that happen, it’s just exactly what we wished for.”