Posted by: Autism Speaks | September 15, 2010

2010 Southwest Missouri Walk Now for Autism Speaks

To commemorate the events of 9/11, Erik Burington, a young adult with autism, sings ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ and brings a huge crowd to tears and cheers.

On Saturday, September 11, nearly 1,000 people came together at Jordan Valley Park for the 6th Annual Southwest Missouri Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  Together, the 76 teams and individual walkers raised over $80,000 for Autism Speaks, funding work in research, family services, advocacy and awareness.  This would not have been possible without each of our supporters!  

The dedicated volunteers that make up the Southwest Missouri Walk Committee are at the core of the successful accomplishments of the Southwest Missouri Walk.  We would like to thank our Walk Co-Chairs Linda Barger and Jason Holcomb, as well as the many members of the committee who were willing to step into very important roles, attend monthly planning meetings, run around town to pick up essentials, ‘talk the walk’ to the community, and really made our Walk possible! 

Our top five teams: Zach’s Pack (raising over $23,000 as a new team record), Zion’s Tribe, Battle Buddies Brigade, Waynesville R-VI School District/East Elementary, and Campbell16 were all present on Walk day as well as one of our families’ favorite parts of the Walk – over 17 area autism service professionals in our resource fair. 

We owe a huge thank you to our sponsors: Burrell Autism Center, Kraft Cares, Grime Scrubbers,, and CSL Plasma, in addition to our in-kind contributors of Price Cutter, LANCE, Woods, Krispy Kreme, Sara Lee, Burger King, Panera Bread, the Mudhouse, and attorney Will Worsham. 

While the list is still growing from those joining on Walk day, we salute our Grand Club members for 2010 that have already joined: Micheal Woodring, Barry and Madonna Walker, Rick Lemings, Rick Dull, the Jack Henry Golf Tournament, Cathy Seaton, Zachary Woodring, Tammy Hicks, Heather Woodring, Danielle Wagoner, and Linda Barger. 

Adding our own special Southwest Missouri flare, we were proud to welcome: Ron Spigelman of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra to take over the Walk Day emcee duties; appearances by Batman, Superman, and Louie of the Springfield Cardinals; Doug Burlison to read the proclamation of the day as ‘Autism Awareness Day’ in Springfield; Boy Scout Troop 2, whose members include 12 young adults with autism, to lead the Walk; Bruce Blakemore who provided our soundtrack for the day; and a special showcase of our Faces of Autism project, featuring our fellow and local walkers and loved ones with ASD.   

Our Grand Club members (to date) gather at the stage to be recognized for their tremendous efforts upon reaching the $1,000 milestone.

We have candid photos in from Walk day, as well as more news and updates about the Southwest Missouri Walk on our Facebook page HERE (click “Like” to become a fan).  



  1. Words cannot express how proud I am of our Southwest Missouri Team. I just wanted to mention our committee.
    Doug Philips Logistics
    Nancy Stewart Accounting
    Cynthia Burington and Kerra Kutz Food and Beverage
    Tara Holcom The Faces Project (and so much more)
    Amy Burnett Corporate Sponsors
    Chantal for sponsoring the moon walk.
    And of Course Jason my partner in crime who co-chaired with me this year.
    You guys are so Amazing and I cannot wait till next year when we reach that $100,000 mark.

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