The 4th Annual Tennessee Walk Now for Autism Speaks took place at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on Saturday, September 10th, with over 200 teams and nearly 3,000 walkers in attendance. To date over $145,000 has been raised for the Walk with donations continuing to come in making us well on the way to reaching our goal of $185,000! Emcee Evan Farmer from CMT Top 20 Countdown joined us for a 4th year. Jennifer Kates, 2011 Walk Chair and Tracy Wilbanks, Autism Speaks Southeast Regional Director, welcomed the crowd with moving speeches, motivating everyone to support this great case. Government Relations Advocate, from Autism Speaks, Sharon Boyd educated and inspired everyone to get involved with advocacy efforts on a federal and state level. The Walk Chairs along with their amazing Walk Committee and 175+ volunteers made sure that the day went off without a hitch. A huge thank you to all our Walk Sponsors; Tennessee State Park, Reeves Sain, Cunningham Motors, The Children’s Treatment Center, Dollar General, Summit Educational Professionals, Vi-jon, General Mills, River Oaks Learning Center, Demos’ Restaurant, Ben Freeland, and Advanced Therapy Solutions, Fox 17 and Clearchannel Radio. And to Wholesale Inc, this year’s top Presenting Sponsor. Also to the many generous local businesses for supplying drinks and snacks and helping to make the day so special! Geoffrey the giraffe from Toys“R”Us was on hand along with fun Star Wars Characters. The Kid’s Korner included bounce houses, face painters, kiddie corn hole, and soccer fun. Parents received great resource information from over 30 vendors and sponsors. The beautiful and talented Katie Chance joined us again for the 4th year in performing and singing the National Anthem. SENSE Theatre, a receipt of an Autism Speaks Community Grant, performed and had the crowd dancing and having fun. Josh Sanders shared his singing talents and Ms. Middle Tennessee Blue Raider, Callie Durham, shared why having autism as her platform meant so much to her. Zumba with Yo Yo got the crowd warmed up and fired up to get the walk started. It was a beautiful sunny day with so many heart-warming stories that will stay with everyone throughout the year! For more information about the Tennessee Walk, please contact Kathy Streng at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our Facebook Page soon for pictures from this amazing day. Thank you to everyone who came out to show their support! Tennessee is definitely listening!
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.