Posted by: Autism Speaks | October 13, 2010

2010 St. Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks

 

Walk Chair Tricia Merkel and Co-chair Amy Blumenfeld gather around, while Grand Club member Catie Gravagna has the honor of cutting the ribbon and leading the Walk with her team Lil Dominators.

 

As walk day comes to a close here in St. Louis, it’s impossible not to smile as we think about the success that was the 2010 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event.  Approximately 23,000 walkers converged on the Upper Muny Parking Lot in Forest Park to share one common goal for the day….raising awareness and necessary funds for autism research, awareness, advocacy and family services.  Looking around the lot on this gorgeous day in St. Louis, the sea of colored t-shirts representing the 455 teams is an incredible sight.  Parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, educators all joined together to celebrate the successes of their loved ones with autism.  Laughter and squeals of delight could be heard by the bounce houses, bounce slide, in line for face painting, and of course by the hit of the walk…the bubble bus!  Back by popular demand, a group of break dancers entertained the children and adults with their moves.  Of course, they got the crowd laughing as they attempted to teach one of our emcees from the morning a few new tricks up on stage!  This brings us to the wonderful crew that came back for the 4th year in a row to emcee our morning.  Members of the St. Louis Y98 Morning Show (Jen, Kevin the intern, and Lance) demonstrated their dedication and support to the St. Louis Autism Speaks Chapter by coming out and spending their morning talking to the teams, sharing their perspective on why Walk day is important, and most of all encouraging the St. Louis participants to keep this enthusiasm and dedication to the cause going all year.

National Sponsor mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and St. Louis Gold Sponsor mascot Hardees Star warm up before the Walk.

While the day was warm and we saw many sun-kissed faces, the utter excitement for what was taking place on the Muny lot was palpable.  Walkers laughed and shared their personal stories as they waited in line to enjoy treats provided by SportService, Ben & Jerry’s, Centene, Ralcorp, and so many other wonderful sponsor and donors.  When it’s all said and done, the 20,000+ walkers that stepped foot underneath the great balloon arch and walked their way to raising awareness and funds for research have already brought in nearly $700,000!  The greatest part is that it’s not stopping there!  Donations continue to roll in and fundraisers are still being planned.  St. Louis will once again hit a $1,000,000!

From the bottom of our hearts, the St. Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks Committee would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and their willingness to keep the excitement of Walk day going all year.  St. Louis supporters are the GREATEST!

For more information and pictures about the Walk, please visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AutismSpeaks.STL.

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