Over 900 Attend 1st Annual Autism Walk Held Saturday

Monday, November 11, 2013

Over 900 individuals participated in or supported the first ever Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk held last Saturday at Coolidge Park. Dave Buck, executive director of the Chattanooga Autism Center said the sight was overwhelming. “The line stretched from River Street down in the park all the way up on the Walnut Street Bridge. I was deeply moved,” said Mr. Buck.

Gina Mitch, walk coordinator and mother of a child with autism coordinated and planned this project for over a year. Her hard work paid off. The committee’s fundraising goal was $30,000 but the unofficial amount raised was almost double, about $58,000.

“We had so many hard working volunteers who helped over the year and dozens more who helped at the event,” said Ms. Mitch. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Event organizers also attributed the success to the Greater Chattanooga region. “The individuals, businesses, and nonprofits from this area really care, and they work together better than any other region I know,” said Mr. Buck. Eight area schools and a dozen private businesses and nonprofits created “teams” for the walk, as did many families. Almost 80 teams were made; the largest had 55 members and raised over $3700. Not everyone joined teams however. Hundreds of individuals and families registered just to be a part of the event.

The participants were treated to music, activities, vendors, an address from Mayor Berke, and a spectacular autumn view of Chattanooga from the pedestrian bridge. Volunteers decorated the bridge with dozens of huge banners that displayed facts about Autism Spectrum Disorders. Smiling walkers trekking the 2.3 mile route learned about Autism while enjoying the fall weather.

“Next year’s walk will be Nov. 8,” Mr. Buck said. “And we’ll be working on making it more fun each time!” said Ms. Mitch.

The funds raised will be used to expand programs and services at the Chattanooga Autism Center. To learn more about the CAC, visit www.chattanoogaautismcenter.org or call them at 423 531-6961.

More photos are on Mark A. Herndon’s Facebook page Lasting Visions Studio






Bradley County Justice Center Hosts Open House On Nov. 2

There will be an Open House at the Bradley County Justice Center at 2290 Blythe Ave., Southeast in Cleveland. The event will be free and open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 2 ,  from 2-4 p.m. There will be guided tours of the administrative section, Criminal Investigations Division, including the forensics lab, patrol section, as well as corrections and judicial services. ... (click for more)

Dr. Carol Berz Speaks On Transparency At Brainerd Kiwanis Club

Councilwoman Dr. Carol Berz told the Brainerd Kiwanis Club, "'Transparency' is a hackneyed word, but I really believe in it." She said of the city government, "We're really trying to be totally accountable...You can go online and see the city budget. It's all information that before was behind closed doors."  Of her six years representing the sixth district, Dr. Berz ... (click for more)

2 People Shot Saturday Night On Carousel Road

Two people were shot Saturday evening on Carousel Road. At  9:11 p.m. , Chattanooga Police responded to 1406 Carousel Road on a call of a person shot. One victim on the scene suffered minor injuries.  Another victim was transported by personal vehicle to a local hospital. The s econd victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The suspect ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: More Sunday Funnies

On the last Sunday before Daylight Savings Time disappears next week, let’s go to my jokes back for some grins and giggles: * * * An old gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son-in-law, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation.  As he was about to get the anesthesia, he asked to speak to his son-in-law. “Yes, Dad, what is ... (click for more)