7-year-old boy with autism gets surprise party from community

Cherab Foundation draws in more than 60 people at boy's party

By Patricia Martellotti - Reporter

SALEM, Va. -  Seven-year-old Gabe Manus loves tiny cars.

The Hot Wheels lover was the life of his birthday party, drawing in a packed crowd of more than 60 supporters Saturday afternoon.

His mother Stephanie Manus said Gabe, who has autism, didn't think anyone would come.

She said last year, no one came to his birthday party.

So this year the Cherab Foundation decided to encourage the community to come to Gabe’s party.

“There are people here, so that’s all I can ask for. The community really came together to support him,” Manus said.

Many like Mary Crouch had never met Gabe, but attended the celebration anyway.

“We decided it was the right thing. We had a great time,” Crouch said.

Gabe’s mother hopes all kids will feel included, as Gabe did on this special day.

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