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Central students walk the walk for Autism

Margot Wagner

Margot Wagner

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On Sunday, Apr. 29, the fifth annual Autism Walk began at Central and students and other members of the community walked three miles to raise money and awareness for autism.

“The goal of Charlie’s Gift is to provide support for families dealing with the impacts of Autism all in one location,” said student organizer, junior Dan Menza. Charlie’s Gift has raised over $70,000.00 in support of Autism, and attracted between 1100 and 1200 walkers.

Some students opted to join the Autism Walk with a team to help spread awareness. Sophomore track athlete Trent Carlson said, “We all wanted to get together for a great cause. We did a lot of fundraising and had a great time doing it.” The entire boys track team was seen helping work the event by directing walkers to the designated path.

The Autism Walk required a lot of planning, which began immediately after winter break. Representatives from Hinsdale Central assist the Community House and Charlie’s Gift, centered in Downer’s Grove, in organizing and advertising the event in time for April. “We really hit the ground running,” Menza said.

The Autism Walk has often been a charitable event that has attracted students along with families with young children mostly because it’s an easy way to both socialize and raise awareness for a good cause. Menza said, “It’s a really easy way to give back to the community. Clubs and sports love to get involved, and it has become more of a group event.”

Autism is growing by 10-17 percent each year. Considering this, the Autism Walk couldn’t come at a better time.

The Autism Walk has been a resounding success amongst students, adults, and young children alike, with over $250,000.00 raised in the past five years. Menza said, “We could not be more happy with the turnout.”

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Central students walk the walk for Autism