1,500 members of the Southern New England Community joined Autism Speaks in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Southern New England Walk Now for Autism Speaks. The Walk took place on Sunday, October 14th at the always beautiful Colt State Park in Bristol, RI. Despite early morning rain, over cast skies and “a stiff” ocean breeze-- teams came prepared to spend the day, bringing pop-up tents & signs-creating team spirit that could be felt throughout the park. In the end, our families & sponsors helped to raise close to $100,000 (and counting) for Autism Speaks! Local fundraising efforts are scheduled to continue through the end of the year!
The day began with an amazing live performance by Ashmont Station Band--who always knows how to get the crowd excited to Walk! The community resource fair included sixteen local resource providers (the most ever), and our always popular Kids Korner included two giant inflatable slides, a carnival tent with games, prizes & Shriners Clowns, and a Sensory Tent with a number of special activities for our kids! Three mascots made special appearances, including Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys R Us, Paws from the Pawtucket Red Sox and Samboni from the Providence Bruins! The Rhode Island Free Mason were also on hand with their C.H.I.P (Child Identification Program). Close to 50 families took advantage of this incredible free service!
Opening ceremonies featured brief speeches from our 2012 Co-Chairs Theresa Mahoney and Trisha King who thanked the crowd and all of our sponsors for their incredible support! In addition, special tributes were made to four teams that were celebrating participation in their 10th Walk---and special recognition was also given to several of the amazing individuals that have served as Chairs & Co-Chairs throughout the Walk's 10-year history!
The top 10 fundraising teams of 2012 and our 2012 Grand Club walkers also took part in the opening ceremonies—where they were given the honor of counting down the Walk start. Weisman Roofing Company was our top fundraising team and was given the honor of cutting the start line ribbon.
Thank you to the 2012 sponsors including; Toys R Us & Babies R Us, the Boston Red Sox, Weisman Roofing Company, Alpha Xi Delta-URI, The Royal Arch Masons-Rhode Island Chapter and The Children’s Workshop.
A big thank you to our incredibly hard working 2012 Walk Committee and all of our incredible day-of event volunteers! Pictures and additional updates regarding this year’s Walk will be available shortly (Monday, October 29th) on our website and on our Facebook page.