Posted by: aptapia | August 22, 2011

Montana is Walking for Autism Speaks!

Thomas Russell with Susan Mauro who purchased his painting, "Sunset".

Susan Mauro has supported many worthwhile causes in her life.  For many years she was involved with the March of Dimes but last summer her focused changed.  Susan’s son, Seth, (now a first grader at West Elementary) was diagnosed last summer with autism.

Susan searched for an Autism Speaks event in her state but couldn’t find one.  This inspired her to create the Montana Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  Susan said, “I was upset that there was no Walk for this state ….I thought, we have kids with autism in this state too so let’s do this!”

Susan held a fundraising event this weekend to support the Montana Walk being held on September 11th.  The event was a silent auction and a Cajun food fundraiser, the first (but hopefully not the last) of its kind for the Montana Walk.  Thomas Russell sold 5 of his pieces and helped raise $265 for the silent auction that was held at the Billings Sportsplex.  Thomas Russell is a 23-year-old Laurel artist who has autism. The event raised more than $6,000!

Susan says, “The statistics are 1 in 110 kids are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The way the numbers are going you will either have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin with autism. So lets educate ourselves and our children now about this, and lets find a way to make a difference together. We are all very excited for our Walk on Sunday September 11th!”

If you would like more information about the Walk, visit

For more information on Thomas Russell, visit his blog at.



  1. We adore the Mauro family! They are all such an inspiration and their son is the sweetest! Awesome job, we cant wait to see yet another success for them :)

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