Posted by: Autism Speaks | July 11, 2011

2011 St. Louis Walk Kickoff and 2010 Awards Reception

It is impossible to sum up the experience St. Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks supporters had on Friday, June 24th in just one word.  A single word just cannot convey the meaning of Breakthroughs Within Our Reach, our 2011 Kickoff and 2010 Awards Reception. 

Heartwarming?  Yes, but that’s an understatement.

Inspirational?  Absolutely!

Captivating?  Undoubtedly.  Attendees had the pleasure of hearing from Peter Bell, Clara Lajonchere, and many others!

Exciting?  You bet!  Once that music began to play and the 2010 Walk teams were recognized, you could feel the excitement in the air!

Bright?  For those that were there, there’s no denying that the lights were bright!  The speakers dazzled as they shared their personal stories of why they walk, along with all of the exciting updates in the field of advocacy, science and family services.

Emotional?  With so many dedicated and passionate individuals in one room, tears of understanding, determination, support, and compassion for all those that are touched by an Autism Spectrum Disorder were shed at one point or another.

Unifying? When speaking about the St. Louis Autism Community no word can be truer.  We walk together.  We fundraise together.  We stand united together. 

But the word of the evening had to be HOPE.  Hope for a successful Walk season.  Hope for advancements in the field of science.  Hope for additional states passing necessary insurance legislation.  Hope for St. Louis to once again show the country that we stand UNITED with all those that are touched by autism and all those that walk for awareness, walk for research, and walk to solve the puzzle.

On June 24th, Executive Vice President of Programs and Services, Peter Bell, Vice President of Clinical Services, Clara Lajonchere, National Director of Field and Chapter Development, Rebecca Fehlig, St. Louis Executive Director, Angela Dettmers, St. Louis Event Coordinator & Community Outreach Leader, Mandi Cawthon, 2011 St. Louis Walk Chair, Amy Blumenfeld, and Corporate Sponsor representative from Centene Corporation, Kelly Patrick, took to the grand stage at the beautiful Kemp Auto Museum to celebrate all that the St. Louis Autism Speaks Community has accomplished over the past 8 years while gearing up for the 9th annual Walk season.  Thanks to incredible sponsors, our Walk Manager, Barbara Goode, and the talented individuals at AEG Live, St. Louis’s Mission Kickoff and Awards Reception defied everyone’s expectations.  No detail was overlooked and the color blue dominated the room from special lighting to puzzle piece pins donned by nearly 300 guests. 

Look out, America.  The St. Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks Community is motivated, energized, and determined to hit the million dollar mark!!


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