Saturday, April 5th marked the 6th anniversary of Milwaukee’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Thousands of families came to the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the indoor home of Milwaukee’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the home of NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks! Families; friends, collegiate and 12-K teams along with several corporate teams walked for autism awareness, to raise funds for autism research, and to unite the Wisconsin autism community while getting an up-close and personal experience with the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the Milwaukee Bucks. With over 4,500 walkers and raising nearly $220,000, Milwaukee’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks was supported by community partners and area businesses and provided tons of fun for both children and adults with autism!
Individuals of all ages enjoyed the “Bucks Experience” at Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Rim Rockers amazed walkers with acrobatic moves on center court and then got them involved by handing off twirling basketballs to the fingertips of children with autism. The Milwaukee Bucks Cheerleaders danced with young adults with autism and all were invited to shoot free throw shots on the official Milwaukee Bucks court! In addition to this entertainment, Sam’s Club hosted a Kids Fun Zone with bouncy houses, inflatable slides, face painters and fun; the improved Adult Loft hosted 8 local businesses that helped adult attendees learn about education, employment and housing opportunity for adults with autism; and a Resource Fair filled with over 25 local businesses supported parents in learning about local support.
Opening Ceremonies at Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks included a new event emcee, Kim Murphy with Fox 6 News; Paul Jansen , VP of Business Development of the BMO Harris Bradley Center and John Steinmiller, VP of Business Operations for the Milwaukee Bucks, who spoke graciously about their support of the autism community and their belief in Autism Speaks. Walkers were also pleased by guest appearances from John Henson of the Milwaukee Bucks and 97.3 Radio Now celebrity, Shaun Ridder. The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem by Eric Look and Noelle Braun and a countdown to start the Walk led by one of 2014’s Top Fundraising Team, the Bray Family. Following the ceremony, families enjoyed their indoor walk on the 2nd Floor Whole Foods Market Walk Route or the 4th floor Quiet Walk Route; both tracks filled with local mascots and Super Heroes. New this year, walkers also enjoyed the Outdoor Walk Route Option which took event attendees on a scenic route of Milwaukee RiverWest District.
A special thank you goes out to another 2014 top Team Captain and our 2014 Walk Chair, Teresa Cluka; Field Development Manager, Mallory Walsh and the entire Milwaukee Leadership Committee. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the 2014 Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks Sponsors: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee Bucks, Whole Foods Market, Sam’s Club, Milwaukee Admirals, Lund Van Dyke Inc., Walgreens, The Richardson School, Wauwatosa Therapies, Attorney Timothy Crawford, Prudential, WaterStone Bank, FedEx and our collegiate supporters: Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Theta Delta Chi and Autism Speaks U! Lastly, thank you to all the families, friends, and supporters who joined in our celebration at Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks 2014 and to all who raised funds for vital autism research and continued family services. We look forward to seeing you at future Autism Speaks Milwaukee events and back again for Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks 2015. For more information and photos on the Walk, visit our Wisconsin Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/AutismSpeaks.Milwaukee
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.