Walk for Autism marks 10th anniversary

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The gherkin green-shirted team Pickle Power — which joined forces for last year’s Walk for Autism to raise awareness and funds for Autism Delaware’s programs and services — earned bragging rights as best T-shirt design at the Lewes leg of the statewide event. This year’s Lewes leg will be April 16. (Submitted photo/Leslie Sinclair)

LEWES — Autism Delaware’s 10th anniversary celebration of the Walk for Autism begins on April 16 at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes. (The Wilmington leg of the statewide event takes place April 23 at Fox Point State Park.)

Walk for Autism organizers hope to attract 800 walkers in Lewes who, at the start of the celebration, will walk to the Cape Henlopen State Park parade field to form the world’s largest human puzzle piece image for entry into The Guinness Book of World Records. The puzzle piece currently stands as a symbol of autism.

The funds raised at the Walk for Autism support Autism Delaware’s statewide programs and services, which address the range of services that people on the spectrum need to live full lives as valued members of their communities.

“The Lewes walk seeks to promote and highlight services in Kent and Sussex Counties, such as family support, adult employment and community resources, advocacy at both the state and local levels, and awareness,” said Autism Delaware executive director Teresa Avery. “To meet the growing need in southern Delaware and around the state, we need to continue to grow. The goal for our 10th anniversary is $220,000.”

As a celebration as well as a fundraiser, Autism Delaware’s Walk for Autism will create a fun zone where hands-on crafts are offered to children. Next door to the fun zone, the newest and latest in products and services especially for individuals and families affected by autism will be on display, and a well-maintained picnic area will invite walk participants to enjoy their box lunches from home or their purchases from food trucks open for business in the park.

This celebration is made possible by Autism Delaware’s sponsors, including Horizon Services. the Brandywine Center for Autism, C-Ink, Beebe Healthcare, Sharp Energy, and Kevin Thawley Remax Above & Beyond.

For more information, visit autismdelaware.org.

If You Go
Two locations
• Lewes walk: Saturday, April 16
Cape Henlopen State Park, 42 Cape Henlopen Dr., Lewes. Grand marshal: Blaine Clark.
Set a world record! Autism Delaware walk participants to gain entry into The Guinness Book of World Records for the largest autism puzzle piece
•Wilmington walk: Saturday, April 23
Fox Point State Park, Hay Rd., Wilmington. Grand marshal: Brenna Vendrick
Set a world record! Autism Delaware walk participants to gain entry into The Guinness Book of World Records for the longest high-five chain
At both events:
—9 a.m.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony before step-off — 11 a.m.
•Food and beverages: Free bottled water. Bring a picnic lunch, or patronize the food trucks — Cash only!
•T-shirt contest — Teams that make special walk t-shirts can enter them in our design contest. The winners will be announced at the walk.
•Celebration fun zone — Celebration after the walk takes place in the fun zone, where inflatables and hands-on crafts are courtesy of Home Depot.
•Inflatables — Giant slides and obstacle courses. These will allow kids of all ages to participate safely.
•Exhibitors —See the newest and latest in products and services for individuals and families affected by autism. The exhibitors will be located just next to the celebration fun zone.
Register online at autismdelaware.org
To receive an event T-shirt, raise at least $50.
For more information: Deanna Principe, 224-6020, deanna.principe@delautism.org.

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