Saturday, October 13th was a cold and rainy day in Minnesota, but the perfect day for Minnesota Walk Now for Autism Speaks inside at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. 3,000 participants gathered together for the 6th annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks. We gathered together and raised over $193,000 for Autism Speaks with more money coming in every day.
A special treat for our participants was a performance from Disney’s Shane Harper who performed a 30 minutes acoustic set followed by a meet and greet for the top individual and team fundraisers. Radio Disney emceed the days event and provided fun music and crowd involvement.
For the first time we introduced a passport program for participants to stop at 6 passport stamping locations scattered throughout the resource fair. When passports were completed with all 6 stamps, participants put their passports in a drum for a drawing to receive wristbands to Nickelodeon Universe and Mall of America Coupon books. This new program was very successful in creating definition and flow of the Walk route within the Mall of America.
The Minnesota Walk had nearly 60 resource fair vendors and sponsors. A special thank you to the 2012 sponsors including Landscape Structures, Autism Advocacy and Law Center, Lovaas, DECO, Partners in Excellence, Risk Solutions Resources, Minnesota Autism Center, Alpha Xi Delta, Frito Lay, Cindy’s Creative Celebrations, University of Minnesota LEND, Total Administrative Services Corporation and Disability Specialist Inc. Also, thank you to our in kind sponsors including Pump it Up, Radisson, Joe’s Crab Shack, CBS Outdoor, Nickelodeon Universe and the Mall of America.
The Mall of America so kindly provided Autism Speaks a free kiosk to sell merchandise for the two weeks leading up to the event, which was a huge success. We not only sold merchandise but also had wonderful conversations with people from around the country about Autism Speaks.
A huge thank you to our Walk Chair, Linda Kirby for her leadership and dedication to Minnesota Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Thank you to the 2012 committee members and Volunteers. For more pictures and information about the Walk, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/minnesota