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AUTISM AWARENESS: Walk gains an increase in funds, participants

September 27, 2013

Lutheran Air, the emergency response helicopter at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, landed on the lawn at the Whitley County YMCA. The helicopter was on display for autism walk participants of all ages to view. Photo contributed

COLUMBIA CITY — With more than a 40 percent increase in funds raised and participating walkers, the Whitley County Walk for Autism held its second annual walk Sunday.

Last year, Whitley County saw the formation of the Autism Support Group, and families joined together to raise awareness and funds for the group through a one-mile walk.

In its first year, the walk raised $5,000, compared to this year’s total of more than $7,000. Event planners estimated more than 400 people came out for the event with 325 registered walkers, up from 250 last year.

The event included games, prizes, snacks and information from local service providers at no charge.

“This was a fun atmosphere. There were a lot of kid-friendly activities,” said Jamie Bloom, the event’s coordinator.

After last year’s walk, the group was able to organize several activities for families living with autism.

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