Kids with autism have a special place in my heart. Iris, my best friend since college has a 17 year old wonderful young man with autism. He is like a big and I mean big (he is almost 6 feet tall / weighs more than 200 pounds) Teddy Bear.
That is one of the reasons I was happy to participate in the Autism Walk last month when Beth Ingram entered a Team. I went with my older son G and met with my team at the Raymond James Stadium. I was surprised at how easy it was to access the stadium and find parking. Everything was very well organized. We quickly found our team, since Jenni had the brilliant idea of having a bunch of balloons so we could find our team leader, Catherine, easily. There were twelve members on the Beth Ingram team, all ready to have a good time while helping the cause.
The area was surrounded by sponsors’ tents where educational and promotional materials were passed out. We distributed hair ties made by one of our co-workers using ribbon with the Autism Awareness logo. Jenni bought the ribbon and Sherrie did the bands. They were amazing. I used mine as a bracelet.
We all did our two laps around the stadium, while volunteers cheered along the way. The weather could not have been better. Everything was perfect.
I hope our participation contributed in at least a small way to promote and provide awareness about autism. Once we were done, my son and I took a selfie with a home-made sign I had made and sent it to my best friend. It was a picture of “Team Chu” (my best friend son’s name). I wanted her to know we were thinking of them.
I enjoyed the walk and plan to be there again next year.
By Maria Garcia (Beth Ingram employee)
For more information about Autism Speaks or future Autism Speaks Walks go to: https://www.autismspeaks.org/