Almost 6,000 people walked far for NAAR, the National Alliance for Autism Research, on May 18. With Walk F.A.R. for NAAR events taking place in the National Capital – DC area and Rochester, New York, almost $500,000 was raised – and that number continues to soar.
The Washington, D.C. National Capital Area Walk was held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Over 5,000 people participated in the second Washington, D.C. area walk to benefit the National Alliance for Autism Research.
The sky was GREY, but spirits were BRIGHT, as walkers joined honorary chair Gary Williams, coach of the University of Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team, who led the pack. Coach Williams signed hundreds of autographs while Johnny Holliday, the Voice of the Terps, and 94.7 FM Classic Rock morning deejay Mark Kessler manned the microphones. Bob Madigan, WTOP AM 1500's "Man About Town," joined the crew at the mikes, and U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen cheered on the walkers from the beautiful, enormous stage, generously lent by Black Entertainment Television (BET). Altria's Kraft Foods division, Edy's Ice Cream, Potomac Pizza, Chicken Out, the Chik Filet Cow HERSELF, and others donated wonderful food for our thousands of walkers and 150 volunteers. What a day!
At the end, despite a record rainy streak in Washington, muddy fields, and temperatures way below normal, our walkers and sponsors have turned in approximately $450,000 for autism research! More donations continue to pour in, making our walk a smashing success. Walkers who were unable to join us can still mail in their collected donations to the following address to make sure full credit goes to your walk team:
Walk FAR for NAAR, 13017 Wisteria Drive #452, Germantown, MD 20874
NAAR thanks the co-chairs of the National Captial Area Walk – Ann Gibbons, Lennie Gladstone, Marlene McConnell and Randi Sidgmore for their tireless efforts to make the event a success.
In Rochester, the Walk Committee brought Walk F.A.R for NAAR to a new place – indoors! This year's Rochester Walk F.A.R. for NAAR took place at the Marketplace Mall. About 600 people walked and raised $40,000 for autism research. The stores might have been closed but there was plenty for everyone to do – including petting reptiles and bunnies, listening to a barbershop quartet, and singing along with a folk singer. NAAR thanks Terri Kerr, Chairperson, and her "fun" committee for a great effort to continue NAAR's presence in New York state.
There is still time to get involved with Walk F.A.R. for NAAR this Spring at the following Walk events:
Greater Delaware Valley Walk F.A.R. for NAAR (Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey)
Cooper River Park, Pennsauken, NJ on Saturday, June 7
Greater Seattle Walk F.A.R for NAAR
Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA on Sunday, June 8
Westhchester, NY/Fairfield, CT Walk F.A.R. for NAAR
Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY on Sunday, June 8
Pittsburgh Walk F.A.R. for NAAR
Heniz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 8
Iowa Walk F.A.R for NAAR
Gray's Lake in Des Moines on Saturday, June 14
For more information about Walk F.A.R. For NAAR visit us ator call 888-777-6227.
Each and every NAAR walk started as "an idea" – one person saying "I'd like there to be a Walk for autism research in MY city/community. Join NAAR in our continuing efforts to expand Walk F.A.R. for NAAR, and the meeting the critical need to fund research and promote the need for more research. If you are interested in learning more about starting a Walk in your area please contact us at 888-777-6227 x14, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website at www.naar.org for more information about the National Alliance for Autism Research.