From left, Rose Somma Tennent, Senator Rick Santorum, walk chair Kelly Diulus and her husband Chuck at the Pittsburgh Walk. Senator Santorum served as honorary walk chair and addressed the walkers. Click here for a gallery of walk photos.
A half-dozen Walk for Autism Research events over the June 3-4, 2006 weekend, raised a projected $2.1 million in donations from family, corporate, service provide and civic teams across the United States.
Walkers took to parks, zoos and campuses in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Great Falls, Montana, Purchase, New York, New York City and Sonoma County, Calif. to raise awareness of autism, its increasing prevalence and the need for more research funding to combat the complex disorder.
A walk for some 9,000 participants from Westchester, N.Y., and Fairfield, Conn., which was headlined by an address from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), raised more than $740,000 (for more, click here). A New York City walk drew more than 3,000 walkers and raised nearly $370,000.
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) addressed a crowd of 10,000 walkers in Pittsburgh, who raised more than $500,000, while Philadelphia had more than 1,500 walkers raising nearly $90,000.
Baltimore raised $197,000 and had about 3,000 in attendance, Montana's Great Falls walk brought in $26,000 from its 300 participants' fundraising efforts, and finally, a small but dedicated group from Sonoma State University in California raised about $10,000.
Each event brought together families affected by autism, local political figures and celebrity guests for a day of fun, festivities and community spirit with a common goal: increase awareness of autism and raise much needed funds to accelerate autism research.
To learn more about upcoming Walk for Autism Research events in your area, click here.