The second annual North Shore Walk Now for Autism Speaks was held on Sunday, April 29that the Chicago Botanic Garden, welcoming more than 1,000 participants. This year, 19 local service providers exhibited in the Resource Fair, with special guest, Geoffrey the Giraffe from national sponsor, Toys”R”Us leading walkers along the beautiful three-mile path through the gardens.
This walk grew by leaps and bounds since its founding last year—doubling in size! The heart and soul of the North Shore Walk is Team Tyler, led by 16-year-old high school junior, Spencer Savitz. Spencer became involved with Autism Speaks five years ago, and dedicates his Walk Now for Autism Speaks efforts in honor of his younger brother. Supported by his parents, Amy and Stuart, and hundreds of family members and friends, Team Tyler has raised more than $500,000 since 2008! Last year, Spencer and Team Tyler founded the North Shore Walk in suburban Chicago to invite their community to take a lead role in advancing Autism Speaks’ mission—and with great success.
Prior to the Walk start, walkers were welcomed by Joe McKeown, coach of the Northwestern Women’s Basketball team and Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. Spencer Savitz also spoke from the stage to thank supporters and to compel participants to continue to raise awareness and funds, once again leading by example.
Very special thanks to generous sponsors: E Street Denim, Coco Pazzo, CDW, Underwriters Laboratories, First Bank of Highland Park, The Audi Exchange, Rush Neurobehavioral Center, Abbott Molecular, GEM Realty, Samson Capital, Magnetar Capital, The Viti Companies, Waveland Investments, Pine Dental, MB Vick and Famos DJ.
To date, the 2012 North Shore Walk has raised more than $180,000 toward the goal of $205,000. With many more fundraising events scheduled in the months to come, the goal is well within reach. Congratulations to the Savitzes, and to all of our North Shore participants on another fabulous success!