On Sunday, April 20, the Lehigh Valley came together to celebrate the 2013 Walk Now for Autism Speaks at the new location of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Record crowds arrived for a chilly Walk start. Almost 400 teams have raised approximately $375,000 to date and still counting. Excitement was felt as the teams entered into the park.
Our success would have not been possible without the leadership and vision of Yvonne Hensinger, Walk Chair, the support of Karen Barbarics and Danielle Zmitrovich, the hardest working Logistics Chairs in the business.
It was a day full of fun and entertainment with an atmosphere of excitement.
Benjamin Schorr, who was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at our Walk, cut the ribbon along with Tip from Crayola. His family proudly hosted family members and friends post-walk to continue the celebration. Ben took his fundraising seriously as requested donations are to be made to his team in lieu of gifts. He achieved his goal once and being the dedicated fundraiser upped that amount again. Ben’s smile as he cut the ribbon was the best visual of the day.
The walkers were provided a wonderful post-walk lunch from Applebee’s as well as refreshments from the Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom management staff. Bagged chips were available from Herr’s Snacks. Water was also provided by Pureau Water and Coca-Cola Bottling of Lehigh Valley
A sold out Resource Fair was a highlight as over 30 local service providers were present to share their information to our walkers. Games, face painting, and sensory activities were enjoyed by all the children as their parent’s received valuable information.
This great event would not have been possible without the support and dedication of our volunteers who are the heart and soul of our Walk. We would like to give a very special thank you to Carrie Basta from Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom for embracing Autism Speaks and giving our Walk a welcome home. Carrie spent countless hours working with our committee to ensure that this was an amazing and comfortable experience for all our walkers.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our wonderful Corporate Sponsors who made this Walk possible by donating money and many of them also formed teams. Our National Sponsors are Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us.
Most of all we thank our families for coming out to support and Walk Now for Autism Speaks and that someone you love and care about! For more pictures and information about the Walk, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AutismSpeaks.Lehigh.
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.