From torrential downpours to 95 degree heat to a perfect day – the weather ran the gamut on NAAR's first Walk weekend of the Fall 2004 season. Across the board all three of the weekend's events were tremendous successes!
The Big D showed a big commitment to NAAR and autism research on Saturday morning. Approximately 1,000 people stepped off at Lone Star Park in 95 degree heat. The weather didn't deter everyone's enthusiasm for NAAR and our first Texas Walk event. Special thanks to co-chairs Vandi Alba and Anne Russell Bramlett for a job well-done. While everyone on the committee did a bang up job, special kudos go out to Susan Eagan and Michelle Moore, our Refreshments and Community Outreach chairs respectively. Tracy Rowlett, a longtime Dallas area news anchor, along with his wife, Jill, was on hand to emcee the event. Both Congressmen Martin Frost and Pete Sessions also addressed the crowd and stressed the importance of NIH funding for autism research. In all, over $105,000++ has been received for the Inaugural North Texas event and much more is anticipated. To get the Austin 2005 event off the ground on the right foot, April Garsson, chair of the February 26th Austin Walk F.A.R. for NAAR event, came to the event as well to get a first-hand look at the North Texas event. NAAR is proud to have the Lone Star State as part of the NAAR family.
Western New England
Under torrential downpours in Holyoke, MA, over 1,500 people came out to support NAAR at the Second Annual WNE Walk F.A.R. for NAAR. The committee, led by Holly Santos, Lynn Dwyer and Martie Kane, were disappointed with the weather but not the outpouring of support. The local ABC news crew was on hand, and while some of the activities had to be curbed due to the rain everyone had a good time. Marcy Wenning, Boston Co-Chair and NE Board member, summed up the day with “what stood out to me was how the "sunshine" broke through the rains in family and friends walking, standing together to raise $$ for research. It was an amazing show of drive, commitment and maybe a little desperation!!” Over $125,000 has been deposited to date, and with the rainy weather we expect many dry envelopes to arrive at the New England office in the next few weeks. Way to go Western New England!
Southern New England
Congratulations to Sammi Roberston, Kim Karvelas and the entire Southern New England committee on a flawless event this morning in Providence, Rhode Island. Over 2,000 people attended the Second Annual event and over $150,000 has been banked to date with final event projections well-exceeding $200,000++, an increase over last year's final total of $163,000. Sammi emailed me on Friday night that, in anticipation of today's fabulous event, the SNE group had 10 planning committee meetings, a lecture, a kick-off, a "Mary Kay" (cosmetics) fundraiser, 6 logistics planning meetings, two yard sales and a Pawtucket Red Sox baseball game, just to give the highlights of this year's Walk season. Sammi concluded her email with ”We're having a blast!!!” It certainly showed today! Great Job Southern New England!
Special Thanks to the NAAR staff – Carroll Brown Arnold (Texas) and Erica Giunta and Kim Niederst (New England) who worked tirelessly with the volunteers in Texas and New England to make this weekend's event successful.
Good luck to the Denver Walk committee for next weekend's Second Annual Walk F.A.R. for NAAR event at City Park on Sunday, September 26.