Friday, June 17, 2011

And the winner is...


....Cori's Team!


Congratulations to Cori's Team, the big winners of YAI's first-ever "Design Your Own T-Shirt Contest"!
Cori's Team will receive 10 passes to a special YAI Network event at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park. They will also have their story featured right here on our Central Park Challenge blog. Stay tuned to read about Cori, his supportive teammates and their inspiration behind the winning design!

Thanks to all who participated in our contest!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cast Your Vote!

WOW - you guys are really creative!

So many of you came to the Central Park Challenge last Saturday donning your own designer tees. We are so energized by each of your unique, meaningful and inspired designs!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our inaugural "Design Your Own T-Shirt Contest." Check out  pics of the finalists....then cast your vote for your favorite design!

The winning team will have their story featured right here on our blog AND they will win 10 passes to a YAI Network event at Six Flags Theme Park!

Vote NOW! The polls will close on Friday, June 17.

1. Best Friends Forever

2. Clifford Chance

3. Cori's Team

4. Hankering for More

5. Mighty M.E.S.

And the Winners Are....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Celebrate Good Times....COME ON!!

Whew - we did it!!  The 2011 YAI and Broadview Networks Central Park Challenge was a HUGE success! And we couldn't have done it without you!

We were overjoyed to welcome you, your friends, family members, and more than 12,000 other terrific participants into the park this past Saturday to enjoy a 3K Walk, 5K Run, children's play area, games, food, entertainment and more! Together, we raised awareness and critical funds for children and adults with developmental disabilities. 

Special thanks to our celeb participants, including YAI Network spokesperson Sherri Shepherd, ABC News Anchor Bill RitterGrizz Chapman (30 Rock), Dominic Chianese (The Sopranos), Q104.3 DJ Maria Milito, Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), and Miss Southern New York Kaitlin Monte.

But the real star of the show was Xi’Xi, the 3-year-old little girl whose shining eyes and ear-to-ear grin delighted the crowd. Joined by her parents, Cindy and Pat, Xi’Xi helped pump up the energy at the start of the 3K Walk by waving to participants. She also enjoyed some dancing on stage with Sherri Shepherd to the music of Dr. K's Motown Revue.

“Even though I have read about Xi’Xi’s progress and her family’s journey on, seeing the bond between all three of them elevated the vibe on the stage,” said Lauren Morris, a participant in the 5K Run. “It wasn't just love that I was seeing between Xi'Xi and her parents, but it was pride. As a mother, that's a very powerful thing to witness."

Thanks to the supportive partnerships that the YAI Network has forged with staff, consumers, families, friends, board members, corporate sponsors and YOU (!), we are quickly closing in on our record-breaking goal of $1.6 million


Help us make this our biggest, best and most successful Central Park Challenge EVER!! Donations can be made through June 30, 2011.  So keep on fundraising and spreading the word and help us cross the finish line!

A picture is worth a thousand words...
Check out some pics from the big day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cruise On Over

Ahoy! Have we got an exciting fundraising opportunity for you!
Thanks to our amazing partners at Westminster, we are offering an all-new way to fundraise BIG for the Central Park Challenge.... selling rooms on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas!


The Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas Cruise departs from Cape Liberty, NJ and heads to Bermuda September 10th - 15th. And for every room on the cruise ship that you sell, you'll raise some major bucks to support individuals with disabilities and the Central Park Challenge!

YAI will receive:
     - $500 for each Stateroom Sold
     - $700 for each Jr. Suite Sold
     - $1000 for each Full Suite Sold

For all the sea-riffic details, contact Craig Miller at or the Central Park Challenge team at



We're giddy.  Ecstatic.  Clicking-our-heels, writing-this-whole-post-in-BOLD kind of happy.  Do you even need to ask why?

The Central Park Challenge is... TOMORROW!!!

We like 364 days of the year, but we LOVE 1. And that day has finally arrived!

Thank you so much to all of our friends who have registered, fundraised and helped spread the word.  Together, we are making a huge difference in the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Check out all of the important event details and we'll see YOU (!) in the park TOMORROW!


Look Who's Walking!

Need a little inspiration? Well, we're giving you a LOT

We are just so inspired and proud to share this next story with you!

All year long you’ve followed the story of
Xi’Xi, a YAI Network preschooler and the shining face of YAI and Broadview Networks Central Park Challenge. You’ve watched her blossom from a little girl who had difficulty maintaining her balance and only spoke a few words into an eager child who began to speak full sentences, tackle stairs and walk with the assistance of a walker.

And now, Xi’Xi is - quite literally! - taking new strides.

Today, Xi’Xi is walking!

"It was an incredible joy and an immense relief to see Xi'Xi walk unassisted," said Cindy, Xi'Xi's mom. "I was completely overjoyed. I cried."

To honor their daughter, Cindy and husband Pat formed a Central Park Challenge 3K Walk Team and, quite fittingly, have named the team “Xi’Xi Walks the Walk.” This team name represents all of Xi’Xi’s progress over the past year and serves as an inspiration for all of the steps that Xi’Xi will take as she continues to grow and reach her full potential. Show your support for Xi'Xi by making a donation to her team!

"We can all learn from Xi'Xi," added Cindy. "Pat and I chose to name the team "Xi'Xi Walks the Walk" because Xi'Xi is a determined human being who decides what she is going to do... and then she does it! Pat, Xi'Xi and I are thrilled to walk the walk the same way that we live our lives... together!"

Walk the walk with Xi’Xi, her family, YAI Network spokesperson Sherri Shepherd and more than 12,000 others on Saturday, June 4 in Central Park. There is still time to register!


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Thanks to all of your incredible, amazing, outstanding, marvelous, impressive, extraordinary, exceptional, fantastic, terrific, tremendous, wonderful, phenomenal and stupendous dedication, we have surpassed the $1.4 million mark!! WOW! 

Congrats to everyone who helped make this happen! We are so overjoyed by this milestone... it is motivation for us to continue in our quest to fundraise $1.6 million. KEEP IT UP, TEAM!

Help us reach our goal and then join us in Central Park on Saturday as we celebrate people of all ages with disabilities.

The Central Park Challenge is Finally Here!

We are expecting amazing weather and more than 10,000 participants along with our celebrity spokesperson Sherri Shepherd and her friend Xi’Xi. As we gear up for the big day, reach out to everyone you know one last time to ask them to support your efforts with a donation. Go to your participant center now!

View Important Event Information. Here, you will find directions, the event schedule, a map and other important information.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Are Everywhere!

The BIG day is almost here! Can you believe it?!

Our excitement level has reached new heights. YAI and Broadview Networks Central Park Challenge advertising campaign has taken over New York City - and beyond!

In addition to raising critical funds for the YAI Network’s supportive services offered to individuals with developmental disabilities, the Central Park Challenge is a special event because it also provides unique opportunities to raise public awareness about the thousands of children and adults with disabilities who receive YAI’s services.

We are on buses and telephone kiosks. We are in subway cars and print ads. We are on lampposts, the radio and television. And we are on massive highway billboards.

We are everywhere!

YAI Network staff, along with our spokesperson Sherri Shepherd, have also spoken on WABC-TV, Q104.3, WFAN, Lite FM, Z100 and Power 105.1. Little Xi’Xi, a YAI preschooler and the face of this year’s Central Park Challenge, was featured on NBC’s Weekend Today Show. Public service announcements featuring Sherri and Xi'Xi have also aired on numerous TV stations, including New York 1 News, MTV, YES, ESPN Classic, TV Land and the Soap Network.

The YAI Network is able to effectively spread the word about the Central Park Challenge as well as about the services that YAI offers through generous media support. Special thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, Van Wagner, the Daily News and Vector Media, which donated 100% of our advertising opportunities. These partnerships play a critical role in the success of the event and in getting the word out to the public.

Have you spotted one of our ads on a telephone kiosk, subway or bus? We want to know! Email photographs of you with our ads to and we’ll feature you right here on our Central Park Challenge blog.


Getting to Know.... Team Logan's Run

One of our favorite parts about getting ready for the Central Park Challenge is getting to know YOU – our enthusiastic participants! What motivates you to run? Who inspires you to walk?

We love sharing your stories to the virtual world and creating a community and bond among all of our readers and event participants.

Get to know the Rosen Family, whose team “Logan’s Run” formed in honor of 15-year-old Logan, a recipient of YAI services.

The Rosen Family opens up on their Personal Page about how, in light of recent budget cuts, fundraising is more critical now than ever before. Their story is honest, touching and is sure to inspire you! While you’re visiting their page and reading about Logan, make a donation and help them reach their fundraising goal of $10,000. They’re already more than half way there – WOW! Keep it up, team! 

Join the Rosens and team Logan’s Run in spreading the word to all of your friends and family about the Central Park Challenge. Encourage others to register, fundraise or support your efforts. Every dollar raised can and WILL make an impact on the lives of individuals that YAI serves, just like Logan.

Have a story to share? We’re listening. Send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!