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Press Release

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Free Sailing Camp for Autistic Youth Coming to New Orleans

Community Sailing New Orleans, Spectrum Sailing Camp and Beignet Fest partner together to host camps this spring and summer

New Orleans (Jan. 31, 2022) – Community Sailing New Orleans is teaming up with Spectrum Sailing to hold an adaptive sailing camp for autistic youth ages 10 to 17 April 4-6, 2023. The free clinic is made possible through funding and coordination from the Beignet Fest Foundation with proceeds from the 2022 Beignet Fest. One of New Orleans’ premier festivals, Beignet Fest has a charitable mission to increase awareness and support for children on the autism spectrum.

“When we talk to parents in the autism community, we hear overwhelmingly that they struggle to find appropriate enrichment activities for their children,” says Sherwood Collins, founder and executive director of Beignet Fest and the Beignet Fest Foundation. “Beignet Fest Foundation seeks to address this need by teaming up with local nonprofits like Community Sailing New Orleans and others.”

The Spectrum Sailing Camp at Community Sailing New Orleans presented by Beignet Fest Foundation will be held at the Community Sailing Harbor at 101 N. Roadway, New Orleans, LA 70124. There will be two sessions serving 10 participants each over three days, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Later this summer, Community Sailing will also host a weeklong autism-inclusive summer camp with support from Beignet Fest Foundation. The summer camp will be held June 12-16, 2023.

“Community Sailing New Orleans was created to eliminate barriers to discovering the joys of sailing,” said, Jacob Raymond, executive director of Community Sailing New Orleans. “We believe sailing provides a platform to develop independence and self-confidence for all those who take part, and we are thrilled to be able to bring sailing instruction to individuals on the autism spectrum along with Spectrum Sailing and the Beignet Fest Foundation.”

Spectrum Sailing specializes in facilitating inclusive sailing camps and programs throughout the country and will be in New Orleans for the first time through this program.

Both camps seek to meet autistic youth where they are so that all can enjoy the sport of sailing on Lake Pontchartrain. Parents can find out more information and register for the April adaptive sailing programs at spectrumsailing.org. More details will follow on the June summer camp for interested families.


About Beignet Fest/Beignet Fest Foundation: Beignet Fest is a premier food festival in Louisiana that celebrates one of New Orleans’s most iconic dishes all in one place on one day. Proceeds from Beignet Fest benefit the Beignet Fest Foundation, which raises awareness and support for autism programs in Greater New Orleans that serve autistic youth and their families.

About Community Sailing of New Orleans: Community Sailing New Orleans is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that positively impacts lives by providing accessible educational and recreational opportunities on Lake Pontchartrain for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. 

About Spectrum Sailing: Founded in Charleston, South Carolina, Spectrum Sailing provides maritime education, programming and outreach for autistic individuals through sailing camps around the country that provide opportunities for skill development, social interaction and confidence building.

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