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Crossroads residents rally to raise awareness about autism

By JR Ortega
March 27, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated March 27, 2012 at 10:28 p.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Second Annual Walk 4 Autism

WHEN: 8-9 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. opening ceremony, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. walk and carnival

WHERE: Riverside Park close to the horse arena.

For more information, contact the Walk 4 Autism group at victoriawalk4autism@yahoo.com

Check out our Missing Pieces autism series

Rosemary Pena Watts had seen community events for autism outside of Victoria before, but to see it on her own turf last year was an amazing feeling.

And now this year, the Saturday's second annual Walk 4 Autism is raising the bar yet again.

"I think it's wonderful, it gives everyone an opportunity to do things for ourselves and our families," said Pena Watts, the mother of an autistic son. "We were doing everything on our own."

Aside from the walk, the event will have a mini-carnival with games and entertainment. A donation of $5 is requested for unlimited access to the games and rides.

Money raised will go to Autism Network Connection, a local nonprofit formed by Pena Watts in 2011.

Last year, the walk brought together almost 1,000 people, and this will be the case yet again, predicted Jennifer Davis, one of the coordinators.

Davis has ordered about 700 shirts for those who pre-registered for the walk. About 100 more shirts will be for sale at the event.

"There was so many people in the community who came out," Davis said. "This year we're hoping for the same amount of people."

The walk is a mile-and-a-half long. Davis has thought about having a run, but that limits those who want to bring out the family, she said.

Davis became involved with autism when her brother, Arnold Davis, was diagnosed with autism as a pre-teen.

"We're going to keep doing this," she said about the walk.

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