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APJL raises funds for Autism Speaks

WASHINGTON — APJL Consulting said it raised $85,836 for Autism Speaks at last year's Bike to the Beach event, a record for the company.

 Members of the APJL team take a break during the 106-mile 2013 Bike to the Beach ride. The team raised more than $85,000 for Autism Speaks.Members of the APJL team take a break during the 106-mile 2013 Bike to the Beach ride. The team raised more than $85,000 for Autism Speaks.

Allen Parvizian, president of the management consulting and liquidation firm, was the top individual fundraiser at the event at $35,568. A number of industry sponsors contributed to the cause.

APJL was once again the top fundraising team for Bike to the Beach 2013 and in four years, has raised almost $240,000. It recruited a team of 23 riders for the most recent event last summer, riding 106 miles from Washington's Union Station to Dewey Beach, Del.

Both principals in APJL, Parvizian and Luis Melendez, have boys who are affected by autism spectrum disorder.

"It's amazing how our colleagues, friends and family continue to support our cause year after year. Each year we are getting more and more people involved," Parvizian said.

"This April 2, it will be nine years that we found out our son has autism and this summer it will be two years since my business partner, Luis Melendez, discovered his son has been affected by autism. It has changed our lives forever and believe it or not, for the better. We try to do our part and help in any way we can."

He said the group plans another ride this year.

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization formed to help those affected by autism, funding research, advocating for rights, spreading awareness and providing family services to those in need. One in 88 children, including one in 54 boys, is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to Parvizian.

Sponsors at the platinum level ($2,000 or more) were Lou and Marilyn Glickfield, founders of Marlo Furniture; at the gold level ($1,000) were Gordon Bros. Chairman Michael Frieze, Ashley Furniture, Mail America and Rugs America; silver level ($500), Calligaris in Washington D.C., Tony Bellarosa, Symbol Mattress, Parker House, Warehouse M, Tepp Team USA, Jofran, Shady Saliba, and Klingman Furniture's Jason Israel; and bronze level ($250), John Dixon, Gordon Bros.' Kevin Kulinowski, Massoud Fine Furniture, Miresco, Eastern Oriental Rugs and Brownstone.

APJL said it was grateful to those and other industry reps and executives who also made contributions.

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