Photos courtesy of Lauren Reid.
Walk for Autism 2014
The Hoover Belles lead the Walk for Autism at Veterans Park. Mascot Jerry walks behind them.
On April 5, the 11th annual Walk for Autism and 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle will take place at Veterans Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. Presented by the Autism Society of Alabama, the race originally was held at the Riverchase Galleria, was then moved to Regions Park and is now in its third year at Veterans Park.
“Money raised for Walk for Autism allows us to continue making strides in Alabama,” said Lauren Reid, fundraising and events manager for the Autism Society of Alabama. “All funds raised are kept in the state and used throughout the many communities to educate or advocate for families.”
Reid said participants can expect a fun-filled family time throughout the morning. There will be a resource fair, snacks provided by Zoe’s Kitchen, Earthfare and Nola-Ice, as well as activities for children such as face painting and arts and crafts.
Prior to the walk will be the 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle, an addition added in the last three years.
“We know that 5Ks have become a big attraction in our area and since Birmingham has a large running community, we hope to reach out to those groups by providing an opportunity to run with us to support autism awareness,” Reid said.
Reid said that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States.
The Autism Society of Alabama provides resources for those with autism and their families. In partnership with the Easter Seals they offer weekend family camps at Camp ASCCA with zip lining, canoeing, horseback riding and other recreational activities. The organization also offers regional seminars and conferences on autism.
“With 1 in 88 now affected by this disorder, most everyone knows a family or has a friend or loved one with ASD,” Reid said. “We believe it takes both advocacy and fundraising to succeed in awareness, social change and increased opportunities for ASD families.”
For more information, visit walkforautismal.com.