The 5th Annual Tennessee Walk Now for Autism Speaks took place at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on Saturday, September 8th, with over 200 teams and nearly 4,000 walkers in attendance celebrating “High-Five to Autism.” To date over $170,000 has been raised for the Walk with donations continuing to come in making us well on the way to reaching our goal of $183,000!
Emcee Evan Farmer from CMT Top 20 Countdown joined us for a 5th year and Erin Como from Fox 17 partnered with Evan from the stage. Stephanie Gilbert, the 2012 Walk Chair, welcomed the crowd with moving speeches, motivating everyone to support this great case. The Walk Chair along with the amazing Walk committee and 175+ volunteers made sure that the day went off without a hitch.
Thank you to all our Walk sponsors; Waller Law, Tennessee State Park, Reeves Sain, Cunningham Motors, Dollar General, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, Vi-jon,River Oaks Learning Center, Joe’s Crab Shack, Whole Foods, Olgetree Deakins, Pediatric Therapies, Scarab Behavioral Health Services-LLC, Trickett Honda, Communications Test Design, Inc and Fox 17.
And a huge thanks to Wholesale Inc, this year’s top Presenting Sponsor for a third year. The pet gold fish from Wholesale Inc were a big hit with the children again this year. And thank you to the many generous local businesses for supplying drinks and snacks, products and services to make the day so special!
Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys“R”Us was on hand along with fun Star Wars Characters and the Super Heroes. The Kid’s Korner included bounce houses, face painters, kiddie corn hole, and bubble fun and crafts with our “High-Five to Autism” theme. Parents received great resource information from over 30 vendors and sponsors.
The beautiful and talented Katie Chance joined us again for the 5th year in performing and singing the National Anthem. Logan Blade, a teen living with autism, performed and blew every away with his southern charm. Kat Lee Jones performed a beautiful song she wrote about autism and had the crowd singing and clapping along. 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 and later had the crowd dancing and having fun.
In spite of the cool, rainy day, a magical time was had by all 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.