Press release from Autism Society of North Carolina:
Members of the Autism Society of North Carolina are in training for the organization’s 14th annual Western North Carolina Run/Walk for Autism. About 20 members have been showing up every Monday evening for the past several weeks at French Broad River Park for a one-hour training session, in preparation for the event. The Run/Walk for Autism will be held September 14th at Bill Moore Park in Fletcher. Proceeds from the event support the organizations’ activities in the western region of North Carolina.
Regional Director Michael LePage says the training program was inspired by a staff member who wanted to compete in the 5k with the member to whom they provide services. The group wasn’t sure whether or not members would participate, and so are delighted at the strong participation they have experienced.
“It’s exciting to see non-runners trying to run and learning that skill while also smiling and having a good time,” says LePage. The training session allows every participant to go at their own speed. Each half mile lap completed is recorded, and the members keep track of the number of laps completed as a group.
“With autism sometimes it’s hard for people to make social connections,” says LePage. “Having an opportunity to make those connections around an event with a clear start, middle and end, with a clear idea of what’s expected, is ideal for people with autism.”
The WNC Run/Walk for Autism includes a competitive 5k and 1k fun walk/run, and is open to all participants. The event will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Bill Moore Community Park, 85 Howard Gap Road in Fletcher.