Story submitted by Susan Mauro, Walk Chair of the Inaugural Montana Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Back at the end of April I contacted Autism Speaks because I wanted to bring awareness to Montana. I thought the best way was by organizing a Walk so with only 3 months to plan, I got to work! People told me I was insane to attempt this and that everyone had "thought" about doing it but it was too much work. My view was this; Its like being the conductor of a train....no one wants to run it/start it....but everyone will just on once its going. I guess that makes me the crazy conductor.
I give all the credit to my crew of 10 who helped get this done and helped everything run smooth; they are truly amazing! We are not from Montana and we moved here knowing no one, so I picked the right friends to meet here....no doubt. Because of ALL OF THEM our Walk was a huge success!
The Walk took place on Sunday, September 11 at Thomson Park. We had anticipated 200-300 people coming to the Walk. We had over 700 participants! We have raised close to $20,000!
We are ready to do this again next year. We had kids of all ages and capabilities, some wheel chair bound and non verbal but their smiles said it all. And that is what this is all about.
THANK YOU to Geoffrey from Toys "R" Us for coming out and showing his support! I was ready to burst into tears about ever ten minutes. I had several families come up and say "We are not alone now".
I was so proud that day looking around. My husband said can you believe this, I said yes.... you see this is Montana and we matter. For more information about the Walk, visit our website at www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/montana.