On Saturday, October 15th an estimated 25,000 walkers and 350 runners passed under the balloon arch as they started the 9th Annual St. Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks and 1st Annual 5K Run Before the Walk, which took place in Forest Park. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a walk/run through the beautiful park on an autumn afternoon. As of Saturday afternoon, the event had raised more than $725,000 in donations, with additional donations still coming in!
In addition to the 5K run and the walk, the event featured a large Resource Fair where participants were able to gain valuable information from nearly 40 Autism Service Providers. Other entertainment included appearances by one of the Clydesdales, Fredbird, Geoffrey the Giraffe, the Hardees Star and McGruff. Stage entertainment included Y-98’s Phillips and Company and the band “Midnight Drive”. The “Kids Zone” included 8 bounce houses, a giant slide, face painting and Hollywood Makeovers (provided by GCS Federal Credit Union). Lunch of ballpark hot dogs, chips and fruit was served, compliments of Sportservice.
Grand Club member Michael Holdman and his son Logan had the honor of cutting the ribbon and their family team, Logan’s Heroes led the way as other family teams, corporate teams, school teams, service provider teams and community teams all walk together in support of those affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Many thanks go out to Amy Blumenfeld (2011 Walk Chair), the St. Louis Planning Committee, our Board of Directors and our MANY volunteers for their passion and dedication to this event, as well as the St. Louis Autism community and our Corporate Sponsors for their continued support. And a huge thank you to AMAZING 17-year old Jake Bernstein, who is a finalist in NASCAR’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which donates $100,000 to the winner’s charity of choice. Jake has chosen Autism Speaks as his charity. Please help Jake and Autism Speaks get to the finish line first by voting daily (through December 1st) at http://www.nascar.com/promos/bettyjanefrance/!
For more information about the Walk or to donate, contact Barbara Goode, St. Louis Walk Manager at 314-989-1003 / StLouis@AutismSpeaks.org or visit www.WalkNowForAutismSpeaks.org/StLouis. Be our friend on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AutismSpeaks.STL.