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Calls to Action

2012 Southwest Missouri Walk Now for Autism Speaks Recap 

Thursday, September 27, 2012 View Comments

Saturday September 8th was a beautiful, sunny day in Springfield, Missouri. Approximately 1,400 people walked and ran in support of loved ones and friends affected by autism at Jordan Valley Park for the ninth annual Southwest Missouri Walk Now for Autism Speaks and first annual Run Before the Walk. Walk Chairperson, Kaia Fields led the opening ceremonies with special thanks to all participants who came far and wide to enjoy the festivities of the day and support the urgent mission of Autism Speaks.

Participants enjoyed the bounce houses, face painting, food and fun! Radio sponsor KTTS was on hand to emcee the events of the day. Special thanks to our friend Bruce and his band who entertained the many walkers from the stage and to LeAnne Pfeiffer Photography for the beautiful photos!

It was a true success for the Southwest Missouri community with $91,400 in the bank! This leaves the Southwest Missouri Walk Now for Autism Speaks just $3,600 from this year’s $95,000 goal. Truly amazing! This tremendous success is due to the hard work and dedication of each volunteer, walker, runner, team member, team captain, sponsor and in-kind donor. Many, many thanks to the Walk and Run planning committees for all of their efforts year after year to organize and implement the Walk in Southwest Missouri!

A very sincere and heartfelt thank you to Kaia Fields (Walk Chairperson) and Tara & Jason Holcomb (5K Chairpersons)! The passion of these 3 individuals to better the lives of those affected by autism in the Southwest Missouri community is truly inspiring.

The most touching moment of the day… when the Southwest Missouri Autism Community observed a moment of silence for a fallen member of the community, Danielle Trader.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to Danielle’s family and friends (Team Always Remember Danielle) for sharing this day with the Southwest Missouri Autism Community.

THANK YOU SOUTHWEST MISSOURI for your continued commitment to changing the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Speaks and Southwest Missouri is listening!!

For more information about the Walk, visit our website at or contact Barbara Goode, Walk Manager at  


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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.