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Massachusetts State Rep Runs for Autism Speaks!

Angelo Puppolo, Jr. is participating in Autism Speaks' Team Up! with Autism Speaks initiative to run in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Want to run (or walk?) for Autism Speaks? Check out Team Up! for more running opportunities and Walk Now for Autism Speaks to find a walk in your area!

Angelo Puppolo, Jr. started running when he was in high school. After he took many years off, he picked it up again over a year ago. In addition to running being a stress reliever, a terrific way to meet people, and giving him time to think, he said that running for a cause and raising funds provides another level of satisfaction. “When I participate in an event raising funds, I do so thinking about family and friends affected by cancer, autism, diabetes, cerebral palsy and mental health issues.” Some of the organizations Angelo has supported and raised money for include the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, Radcliffe is the Reason, Cerebral Palsy Association of Eastern Massachusetts, and United Way.

His introduction to Autism Speaks, which he calls “a great organization,” came through his job as a Massachusetts State Representative and our efforts to secure insurance reform legislation through the Autism Votes initiative, which has been successful in 43 states and the District of Columbia. “In my role in the Massachusetts Legislature I have been a very strong advocate for funding Autism programs and agencies and also expanding insurance coverage for children and people with Autism.”

Fate intervened in his ability to get on our team because he inquired about an entry after we were completely full, but a spot opened up and he grabbed the opportunity. As someone whose job is interacting with others, he took on the fundraising challenge and raised more than twice what he needed through email blasts, Facebook, and personal conversations.

In addition to spending time with his wife, two daughters, and toy poodle in Springfield, MA, Angelo enjoys attending Broadway musicals and all things theater. He collects nautical antiques, and proudly supports the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and New England Patriots.

He’s been able to meet many of the families who have benefitted from his efforts by attending the Autism Speaks Walk on Nantucket, so it was very easy to transition from walking to running. Participating in the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k on November 7 at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend will be his first run for Autism Speaks. When asked why he’s doing this, the answer was simple. “What's better than running in Disney and supporting Autism Speaks?”

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The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.