Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:40PM - 476 Views

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Rachel Baldwin

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON - Mingo County’s “First Annual Walk for Autism” is scheduled to take place on April 27th at the Williamson Field House. Plans are underway to make this fundraising event a huge success, and the participation of the public is needed for that goal to be reached.

Registration is $10 per person (includes t-shirt), but anyone diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder will be admitted free. Registration will begin at 10 a.m. with the opening ceremony scheduled at 11 a.m., followed by the ribbon cutting at 11:30. 

“With Autism now affecting 1 out of 50 children, it is important to not only come out and show your support, but learn about this epidemic affecting so many children in our area,” commented Judith Stepp, founder of the event and a parent of an autistic child.

“We have been working hard on collecting all the latest resources available for youth especially those affected by Autism, to be present during the Walk.”

The Mingo County’s First Annual Walk for Autism will be a fun-filled event for the whole family. There will be inflatables, live music, a DJ for entertainment, face paintings, concession, an amazing raffle table, arts and crafts, and a dunking booth. All proceeds from the walk will be going to The West Virginia Training Center at Marshall University, and will be staying in the Mingo County area. 

“When first organizing this walk, we knew we needed someone passionate about the youth in Mingo County and who understood about this epidemic and how it affected our children in the area,” stated Stepp. “There was no better person to ask to give the speech or cut the ribbon, other than our own Sheriff Eugene Crum. He was ecstatic and honored to do so. Due to the senseless, tragic event that took our beloved Sheriff away from us, we will be holding a special remembrance ceremony for him.”

“During the opening ceremony, we will observe a moment of silence for him. The Mingo County Commission will be there in honor of Eugene and to speak and cut the ribbon. At this time, we will also be releasing balloons in memory and in honor of Sheriff Crum.” 

“Due to the lack of resources and the overwhelming response to this walk, we have decided to form a non-profit organization here in Mingo County. With a child being diagnosed every 20 minutes, you never know when or how you will soon be affected by Autism,” commented Stepp.

“Please come out and show your support! “

Anyone needing further information is encouraged to call Judith Stepp at 304-426-1222, Brandy Fields at 304-235-2049, or Wendy Barker at 304-235-5128

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