More than 3,000 families and individuals joined Autism Speaks for its annual Southwest Florida Walk Now for Autism Speaks event. The walk took place on Saturday, November 6 at Estero Community Park in Estero, FL. With a cool breeze and sunny skies, families covered the park with tents, lawn chairs, wagons, and signs to raise autism awareness and celebrate their children. Together, Southwest Florida families helped raise nearly $110,000 for Autism Speaks!
The day included familiar faces like Geoffrey the Toys“R”Us Giraffe, Everblades mascot Swampee and a performance by the Calendar Girls. The emcees for the day were Lindsay Liepman and Rob Spicker from WINK News. Marj Fose, mother of a child with Asperger’s, sang the national anthem and Sylvia Grant and her family shared their journey with autism and cut the ribbon to signify not only the start of the Walk but that no family is alone in their journey. After the Walk, participants enjoyed hot dogs, games, bounce houses, building projects for the kids provided by Home Depot, and music from the Eventide Band.
The community resource fair represented community partners including Autismthings.com, CARD, Costco, Delta Family Counseling, Eden Autism Services Florida, Edison State College Kappa Delta Epsilon, FGCU PATCH, Island Coast Pediatrics, KIDspirit, Inc, Luce Family Chiropractic, Main Street Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, Paws for Love, Peace by Piece Learning Center, Pilot Club of Fort Myers, Sleep Dentists of South Florida, Special Equestrians, Surf & Song Festival, and The Puzzling Piece. Thank you to the 2010 sponsors including the Florida Everblades, Walgreens, The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Hodges University, and Charlotte Regional Medical Center.
Media sponsors included Southwest Florida Parent & Child Magazine, News-Press Media Group, WINK TV, Beasley Broadcast Group Inc, and the Sun Newspapers. A big thank you to our Walk Committee and volunteers!
For more pictures and information about the Walk, please visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AutismSpeaks.SWFla.