SOURCE: Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter

Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter

May 26, 2011 14:45 ET

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Chicago

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - May 26, 2011) - The Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks hosted the eighth annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday, May 21 at Soldier Field. This family-friendly three-mile walk along Chicago's Lakefront increased autism awareness and funds research into the causes, treatment and a cure for autism. The Walk attracted 20,000 participants coming together to change the future for everyone who struggles with autism, raising more than $1.4 million and counting.

The event commenced with Chicago's own local recording artist, Andrew Salgado, and Grammy award winner and co-founder of Survivor, Jim Peterik, on the main stage inside Soldier Field. Events sponsors, including Lord and Taylor, Toys R' Us, the Chicago Blackhawks, Campbell for Kids, Fifth Third Bank, White Castle, and many more were in attendance to show their support and to celebrate the day with thousands of families.

Participants were able go on Soldier Field to take pictures with Star Wars characters, Geoffrey the Giraffe of Toys R' US, and to play in bouncy houses. This entertainment led to many smiling faces and laughs as many participants have shared on the Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter's Facebook page.

Teams enjoyed music along the route by B96, KISS FM, KHITS and the World Performance Team at different check points. Iconic views of Chicago during the walk included Buckingham Fountain, the lakefront, Field Museum and, of course, Soldier Field. "Walk day is a special opportunity for families to get together for a day of fun in support of this important cause while also raising awareness about autism in our community," said Tricia Brouwers, this year's Walk Co-Chair.

After the walk, attendants partook in the family-friendly after-party and resource fair. The Resource Fair featured community service providers and other vendors such as JoRide Bicycles, Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago, The Autism Program of Illinois, the Chicago Autism Connection, the Family Clinic at UIC and Grupo SALTO in order to better educate supporters on autism and the resources available for them. "This event is powered by volunteers and families with loved ones on the autism spectrum. Participants and sponsors generate vital funds for autism research, awareness and family services," said Jon Brouwers, this year's Walk Co-Chair. During the after-party, entertainment was provided by Green 13, Raisin Rhyme and Radio Rock. There was also a petting zoo, snow cones and bouncy houses.

About Autism
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks' family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government's response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

Contact Information

    Dana Puig
    Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter
    224.567.8573 office
    Email Contact / Chicago Autism Speaks


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