Autism walk grows

Eric Sparling
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Dickey Park hosted Amherst’s second Walk the Walk for Autism over the weekend. More than 100 people collected pledges and participated.

AMHERST – Maya Burke is the chairperson of the lemonade stand.

“Usually I get a lot of customers,” she said.

The eight-year old has been running the for-donation kiosk at Walk the Walk for Autism in Amherst the two years the event has run.

“Because of my sister,” said Maya. Her sister Morgan, six, has been diagnosed with autism.

The autism walk saw friends, family, children and even dogs gather at Dickey Park o Saturday morning to participate in a one-kilometre walk around the recreation area or a five-kilometre walk through town. Money was raised through pledges.

“At least 120 (people) right now,” said walk co-ordinator Elaine Mazur.

“It’s an awareness and fundraiser event,” she said.

One in 88 people will have a diagnosis of autism according to Cumberland Mental Health Services. Mazur said there were 9,000 people with the condition in the province.

“There are so many individuals in the community that do have a diagnosis of autism,” said the coordinator.

“They’re just like everyone else but they have different challenges and need to be accepted for who they are.”

A large tent was erected at one end of the law, with a bouncy castle and another inflatable play structure nearby. A band got ready to perform under a roofed area.

“Everything here is free,” said Mazur, from bouncing to barbecues, although donations were welcome.

The organizer was pleased with the turnout.

“Oh, it’s fantastic. Definitely more than last year, which is what you want.”

esparling@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Walk for Autism, Cumberland Mental Health Services

Geographic location: AMHERST, Dickey Park

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  • Elaine M
    June 19, 2012 - 19:21

    This Walk was incredible. Many people from the community stopped my to check out the festivities, probably 250 people. Can't wait for next years walk.