Chattanooga will host its inaugural walk to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders on Saturday at Coolidge Park. The 2.3 mile walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. and head across the Walnut Street (pedestrian) bridge, around the art district, and back to the park. The route will provide views of the Chattanooga Riverfront and will include dozens of sponsored banners showing various facts about Autism. For example, it is estimated over 6,000 people in the Greater Chattanooga Region are on the Autism Spectrum.
The Chattanooga Autism Center, a local parent-driven resource center and clinic, is in charge of the walk. Proceeds generated by this event fund CAC programs such as its outpatient autism clinic, support group for adults with autism, autism workshops, annual conference, an autism resource room, Greater Chattanooga Aspies, the Cleveland-CAC, training programs for kids and adults with autism, and many more projects and supports.
Participants can participate in activities provided prior to the walk. Prior to the start Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke will help kick off the walk. There is no race, therefore the walk is accessible to all families and community members. Strollers are welcome.
Over 70 teams and 700 participants are already registered. More walkers and supporters must register, which can be done via the official website: www.chattautismwalk.com. Participants receive high-quality long-sleeve shirts and have options to purchase a commemorative bracelet. Families, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to create teams and compete for prizes for getting others to join or to donate to their team. Donations are also encouraged.
The CAC hopes to attract more than 1,000 participants to the Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk.
For more information on the event, volunteer and/or sponsorship opportunities, see the website or call Gina Mitch (vent co-chair) at 779-8562 or Dave Buck (CAC executive director) at 531-6961.