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






Alex Sheen Of Because I Said I Would To Speak Jan. 15

Alex Sheen will speak at a luncheon to benefit Blood Assurance at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 15 at the Double Tree Hotel in Downtown Chattanooga.  Alex is the founder of "because I said I would", a social movement and nonprofit organization.  Through his philanthropic work, his personal commitments and the stories of his supporters, Alex speaks to audiences around the world ... (click for more)

Supreme Court Decides Hospitals Cannot Maintain Liens After Bills Paid In Full

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court has decided that hospitals are required to release their hospital lien against a patient as soon as the patient and the patient’s insurance company have paid the full amount of the hospital charges. This lawsuit involves a common practice in the hospital industry. Hospitals charge uninsured patients more for the same services ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)