More than 10,000 families and individuals joined us for a hot afternoon in the park for the 5th Annual Georgia Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on Sunday, May 22 on International Plaza.
Together, families and local businesses raised more than $650,000 and are continuing to send in donations. The Georgia Walk provided a full day of entertainment and excitement including music from DJ Charlie Parker, a kids care building project courtesy of The Home Depot, face painting and snazzy hair do’s from Dacula Squad, rock climbing, moonwalks, and a whole lot more. Camp Dream was also in attendance to provide assistance to children on the spectrum throughout the event. Grand Club members enjoyed VIP treatment on the Grand Club island located in the middle of all the action. Friends and families relaxed in the shade surrounded by fresh flowers and delicious pastries courtesy of Atlanta Bread Company. Families also had an opportunity to speak with a record 47 community resource fair partners who provided invaluable information to Walk guests. Donna Lowry with Atlanta’s 11 Alive kicked off the day with guest speakers Mark Roithmayr, CEO of Autism Speaks; Bernie Marcus, founder of The Home Depot and Autism Speaks board member; Bill Hamilton, Merchandising Vice President with The Home Depot; Don Mueller, CEO of Marcus Autism Center; and Kimberly Dick, 2011 Georgia Walk Committee Chair.
During the presentation, Hamilton presented Autism Speaks with a check for $180,000 which was a result of sales from Light It Up Blue merchandise sold at The Home Depot!
Kimberly Dick, Walk chair and mother of a child on the spectrum, thanked the Georgia autism community for its support. Kimberly has been an asset and leader to the Georgia Walk, helping commit new sponsors, teaming up with local restaurants for dine out nights, advocating for Autism Speaks and much more.
We would also like to give a special thank you to our Walk sponsors which include: Toy’s ‘R’ Us/Babies ‘R’ Us, Signature FD, BP AM/PM, WellStar, Frazier & Deeter LLC, Resurgens Orthopaedics, Wynsum Arts, Mahatma and Minute/Success Rice, The Home Depot, Alpha Xi Delta, Sensations Therafun, and Kroger. Last but certainly not least, thank you to our Walk day supporters: Starbucks, Stoneyfield Organics, FreshPoint, Whole Foods Market, and Atlanta Bread Company. It’s with the support of businesses like these that Autism Speaks is able to give families this opportunity to come together.
For more information about the Walk, please visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/autismspeaks.ga.
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.