Families, organizations and businesses are gearing up for the 10th Annual Chattanooga Autism Celebration Walk scheduled for Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m.-noon at Coolidge Park.
Officials said, "Every year since 2013, hundreds of people from the Chattanooga area have rallied together to show their support at the largest autism walk in our area. Over 1,000 people are expected to attend this year, including autistic individuals, families, friends, work colleagues, teachers, service providers and the general public.
"This event celebrates autistic individuals and their families, as well as promotes equity and inclusion for neurodivergent people.
Families will come together to connect and also meet autism-related services providers in our region. The community will learn about autism from over 70 autism banners lining the Walnut Street Bridge."
Along with promoting equity and inclusion and educating the community, the walk also raises funds for the Chattanooga Autism Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing resources and support to autistic individuals and families. Programs supported by these funds include an outpatient clinic, adult support program, music therapy, Bridges Behavior Therapy Clinic, support groups and annual autism conferences.
Dave Buck, executive director of the CAC encouraged the entire community to “unite in celebration, equity and inclusion of and for autistic people.”
People can register online and select sizes for their complimentary shirts. Families, businesses, schools and other organizations can create teams and win prizes. The walk route is two miles and goes over the Walnut Street Bridge and back. This year’s goal is to raise $90,000.
Walkers and supporters can register now at chattautismwalk.com
. For more information on how to register, exhibit or volunteer, people should visit the website or call Amber Doolittle at 423-531-6961, opt. 3 or Mr. Buck at 423-531-6961, opt. 4.