On Sunday, May 18, 2008, thousands of walkers turned out for Walk Now for Autism, a 5k walk to raise funds for autism research. Bob Kreisman, Yolanda Flores, and Catherine Russell of Kreisman Law Offices were all in attendance, each contributing in their own way.
Yolanda showed up at 6:00 a.m., two hours before registration opened, to help organize the tents and booths in preparation for the busy day. Once walkers began to arrive Yolanda headed up the t-shirt booth, handing out box upon box of t-shirts to participants over the course of the next several hours. And through the long day she always had a smile on her face and kept the atmosphere of the t-shirt booth light and fun.
Bob and Catherine both participated in the walk itself. The 5k (3.1 mile) course started at Soldier Field, then looped along Chicago’s lakefront before backtracking to Soldier Field. The course was full of families and friends of children with autism that came out to show their support for both their loved ones and for the organization itself. Oftentimes individual groups could be distinguished by t-shirts they wore or large banners with slogans and messages of support and love. Despite the large number of people there was not a cross word to be heard- everyone was happy and excited to be involved.
In addition to the walk itself there were several activities and booths for the children, including several bounce houses, games, and music. And since one of the purposes of the walk is to raise autism awareness there is also a Resource Fair. Essentially Walk Now for Autism is a perfect blend of activities, information and fun.
Walk Now for Autism is sponsored by Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to raising awareness for autism and researching causes, prevention and treatment for autism. Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships. Oftentimes the disease is accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Currently 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism, which represents a tenfold increase over the last decade. To find out more about Autism Speaks visit www.autismspeaks.org.
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