Walk raises awareness of autismResidents of Douglas County were joined by people from Glenwood, Starbuck, Elbow Lake, Melrose, New York Mills, Fergus Falls and beyond to raise autism awareness in west central Minnesota.
Residents of Douglas County were joined by people from Glenwood, Starbuck, Elbow Lake, Melrose, New York Mills, Fergus Falls and beyond to raise autism awareness in west central Minnesota.
Although the weather was damp, spirits were not; participants made use of indoor and outdoor routes.
At least 250 came to the first-ever Autism Awareness Walk April 24 at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria.
Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as children and adults who have autism disorders walked or rode in wagons, strollers and wheelchairs.
Neighbors, friends, teachers, child care providers, social workers, students from pre-school through college, volunteer firemen and first responders showed their support of individuals and families affected by autism.
Organizers of Taking Steps for Autism Awareness set an aggressive goal to collectively walk 500,000 steps, approximately 250 miles.
Thanks to the response from people in surrounding counties as well as some from Brainerd, Twin Cities metro, Wisconsin and Alabama an estimated 650,000 steps were taken.
That’s like one person walking from Fergus Falls to La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Even though walkers did not officially compete to walk the farthest or raise the most money, teams made up of family members and co-workers demonstrated lots of enthusiasm.
After expenses, nearly $3,000 was raised, and donations to this designated fund are still coming in. The money will be used to:
•Bring educational resources to west central Minnesota.
•Sponsor events where families can learn and connect with each other for mutual support and continue to increase awareness.
Parents and family members of people with autism will choose how the funds are spent.
Ideas and volunteers are welcome as planning begins for next year’s event.