WNC Community to Step Out to Improve Lives of Families Affected by Autism

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WNC Run/Walk for Autism to benefit local programs of the Autism Society of North Carolina on September 12 in Asheville.

The Wills family at the WNC Run/Walk for Autism

It’s just been amazing to us what doors have been opened to (my son) because of the Autism Society.

The Autism Society of North Carolina will hold its 10th annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism on Saturday, September 12. Runners and walkers of all ages participate in this fun family event, which this year will start at 1:30 p.m. on the UNC-Asheville campus.

Last year’s race raised more than $45,000 as more than 400 participants, volunteers, and a variety of businesses joined to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by autism.

The WNC Run/Walk for Autism will include the Diamond Brand 5K race, which is part of the Asheville Track Club Grand Prix Series; a 5K noncompetitive run; and a recreational 1K run/walk.

The WNC Run/Walk for Autism also gives families a chance to celebrate autism awareness and acceptance with their community with the Fun Zone for children, music, and refreshments. Vendor space will showcase local businesses, service providers, support resources, and sponsors.

Katie Wills of Asheville was one of the event’s first leaders. Ten years later, she still feels it is important to give back and participate. “It’s just been amazing to us what doors have been opened to (my son) Jesse because of the Autism Society,” Wills said. “Even at 34, he’s still learning things that make him more and more independent. That’s what we want for him.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as one out of every 58 children born today will be diagnosed with some form of autism in North Carolina. Proceeds from the WNC Run/Walk for Autism will fund local programs of the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC), the leading statewide resource organization serving people across the spectrum throughout their lifespans:

  •     Residential, recreational, vocational, and community-based services that make it possible for individuals with autism to lead fulfilling lives
  •     Sara Handlan Crisis Fund to provide financial assistance for families in crisis in the Asheville area
  •     Support groups, advocacy, and workshops for caregivers and professionals

Please visit http://www.runwalkforautism.com or call 800-442-2762 to register, join a team, form a team, sponsor, donate, or volunteer.

Background:

  •     Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. As many as 1 in 58 children may be diagnosed with ASD in North Carolina, according to a prevalence study by the CDC of 8-year-old schoolchildren.
  •     For more than 45 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.
  •     For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit http://www.autismsociety-nc.org.

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David Laxton
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