By Donna Cornelius
Those who want to support Autism Awareness Month can do so by walking, running – and even eating.
On April 16, the Autism Society of Alabama will host its Walk for Autism and 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle at Veterans Park in Hoover.
The Birmingham event is one of 16 that will be held around the state in April.
Early registration is now available at www.walkforautismAL.com and includes a $5 discount for people who sign up before the day of the event. Teams and individuals can participate.
The Walk for Autism brings together thousands of people across Alabama in support of the one in 68 families affected by autism spectrum disorder. In addition to the walk and run, the event includes a resource fair for families to get information on services available in their areas as well as fun activities for children.
Each of the 16 participating cities will present trophies for Top Fundraiser and Most Team Spirit. Participants can fundraise through sponsorships, donations on the FirstGiving page, or securing pledges and tracking their steps with Fitbit.
Incentives for fundraisers include a pair of custom-designed Nike running shoes.
Those interested in setting up a page can visit www.firstgiving.com/autismalabama for more details.
“Families, schools and businesses are encouraged to form teams in support of those on the spectrum,” said Lauren Reid, the organization’s event and fundraising director. “Last year, over 150 teams participated.”
Proceeds from the Walk for Autism benefit the mission and projects of the Autism Society of Alabama. Current projects include the Autism Respite program, in which 80 families in four cities throughout the state will receive 20 hours of respite; the Library Collection Initiative, which assists each Alabama county in the maintenance of an autism section in one or more public libraries within the county; and the Autism Friendly Campaign, in which businesses provide tolerable sensory settings, accommodating environments and assistance for families with a member who has autism spectrum disorder.
For more information about the Walk for Autism and 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle, visit www.walkforautismAL.com.
On April 16, the Autism Society of Alabama Junior Board and Mitchell’s Place Junior Council are teaming up to host the Funky Fish
The seventh annual event to raise funds and awareness for autism spectrum disorder will be at Avondale Brewing Co. from noon to 8 p.m.
Ezell’s Fish Camp will be serving its fried catfish and sides along with the WindCreek Hospitality’s Good to Go food truck and Miss Dots Fried Chicken.
Entertainment includes music by Automatic Slim, Bailey Ingle and Livewire. The event also includes inflatables for children, cornhole boards and raffles for a night’s stay in a Birmingham hotel, gift certificates to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, spa services at Mountain Brook’s Grand Bohemian Hotel and more.
Tickets are $20 in advance. There’s no charge for children 12 and younger.
All proceeds raised will benefit the mission and projects of the Autism Society of Alabama and Mitchell’s Place.
The Autism Society of Alabama’s mission is to improve services for individuals and their families affected by autism spectrum disorder through education and advocacy. ASA provides scholarships to parents and teachers to attend educational conferences in Alabama, provides respite to 80 families and is currently leading the charge for autism insurance reform to mandate coverage for proven therapies in Alabama.
Mitchell’s Place’s mission is to provide comprehensive, research-based, educational, social and therapeutic services for children, adolescents and families affected by autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities in a caring environment.
For more information about the Funky Fish Fry, visit www.funkyfishfry.com.