Autism Awareness Walk Set For Nov. 8

Monday, September 29, 2014

Families, organizations, and businesses are registering in droves for the 2nd annual Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk scheduled for Nov. 8

Last year’s inaugural walk drew 900 participants and raised $58,000. “The parent volunteers had been working hard for over a year and were overwhelmed when the walk exceeded all their expectations”, stated Dave Buck, Executive Director of the Chattanooga Autism Center.  

The goal was to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders; a condition now found in 1 out of 68 children.

Walkers and others in the community learned about Autism from the “Autism Fact” banners that lined the Walnut Street Bridge with quotes like, “People with Asperger's possess average to above average intelligence.” People saw those facts all day long and families felt supported by all of the schools and businesses who walked along side.

Last year’s success is causing early excitement and registration in anticipation of an even bigger event this year. “We wanted to get Team Maecie started now so we can spend more time getting as many members as we can”, said DeeJay Haas, a parent of a daughter with autism.

Walkers and supporters must register using the official website: www.chattautismwalk.com. Must register before November 1.

The walk begins again at Coolidge Park at 10:45 a.m. “Kids activities will be tripled this year and there will be many more prizes this year”, said Gina Mitch, Walk Coordinator. Over 50 teams have registered and many more are expected. An example of a large new team is “Cops for a Cause”, made up of law-enforcement team created by the sheriff’s department in conjunction with the Crisis Intervention Training program. “Autism Facts” banner sponsorships have jumped as well.

100% of the proceeds raised will go to support local autism programs created by families and adults at the Chattanooga Autism Center (CAC), a nonprofit 501c3 organization. The CAC is a local parent-driven resource center and clinic and its volunteers are charge of the walk. The funds also keep the center open and available for the community.

“People should sign up now and then encourage others to support their cause”, said Gina Mitch. The group is shooting for over 1200 participants this year and looking to raise $60k for local autism programs.

For more information on the event, volunteer and/or sponsorship opportunities, people should visit the website or call Gina Mitch (Event Chair) at 779-8562 or Dave Buck (CAC Executive Director) at 531-6961.


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