2011 West Texas Walk Now for Autism Speaks - Abilene 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 View Comments

The first of the three 2011 West Texas Walk Now for Autism Speaks events was held on April 2 at the Abilene Zoo. All the hard work of Walk Chairs Melissa Richardson and Jenny Frazier and their dedicated committee paid off in a ton of fun for everyone!

Saturday morning welcomed us with sunny skies and perfect temperatures. There were over 2,500 walkers who enjoyed the Kids on the Block puppets, clowns, face painting, the 501st Storm Troopers and The King - Elvis was in Zoo! Even the giraffes made their mark on our event… they nibbled around the edges of our banners. The walkers enjoyed new exhibits as the Abilene Zoo continues to grow… we plan to do the same! The 7th annual Walk was dedicated to Joey Swinney, who, for years, worked tirelessly to raise awareness and money for autism research.

Joey passed away late last year. His wife, Tamara and children helped us all celebrate his memory. The West Texas Walk committees have set a goal of reaching the $1 million mark for a cumulative total for the seven years of the Walks – which means the three 2011 Walk events need to raise a total of $340,000! To date, they have raised over $93,000 and there will be two more Walk events in West Texas this year:

Congratulations to our top 3 teams: Charles in Charge, Haskell’s Hero’s and Konner’s Krowd. A huge thank you to every team, walker, sponsor, volunteer and of course the zoo animals, that made Walk Day successful!

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