A Walk in Our Shoes: Autism in Acadiana
Walk Matters
3/23/2014 8:32:21 PM
The Walk for Hope and Family Fun Day to be held this year at Blackham Coliseum on April 5th is a major fundraiser for Autism Society Acadiana. The regional autism organization, an affiliate of the national autism society, serves an eight parish area by providing for its members and their families:
  • information
  • referrals
  • help in locating resources
  • general support
  • special events
  • seminars, and
  • networking opportunities
Autism Society Acadiana does not receive any government grants on a regular basis. Operations are funded through fundraisers, large and small, and private donations.

Anyone can register for the Walk at https://www.firstgiving.com/5216/2014WalkforHope. You can register as an individuals or create a walk team in honor (or in memory) of a person with autism or as a community supporter (schools, provider agencies, businesses, etc.).

If you've never used the registration site (firstgiving.com), you'll have to first create an account with an email and password. After that step, anyone can join/donate to you/your team for the 2014 Walk for Hope and Family Fun Day.

The best way to register a team is for one person to be the lead as a team captain and register themselves first, create the team and then add others. During the registration process, you will be asked to create a unique URL, or link, to a personal fundraising page. This is NOT a link for a team page; rather it is for an individual fundraising page, which can be customized with a story, photo and/or video.

When you are asked to either join a team or create a team, you can search for a team to join or may choose to create a new team. The important thing to understand about the two different pages is this:
  • From the team page, people can donate to an individual or join the team.
  • From the individual fundraiser's page, the only option is to donate to that individual’s fundraising effort for the team.
The Autism Society Acadiana office may be able to help with some registration issues, but the best option for a problem to be resolved quickly is to contact firstgiving directly via email: support@ firstgiving.com, or by phone: 877-365-2949, x2.

Pre-registration ends at midnight on March 30. After that, online registration will end and reopen at the Walk.

It should be noted that the discount of $10 for children 6-12 years of age will no longer be effect the day of the event. All those who register on site on the day of the event will pay a $20 fee, which includes the official Walk t-shirt and all activities of the day. The options for children 0-5 still apply. One can choose to register a small child for a $5 fee to receive a Walk t-shirt or the child can register with no fee and will not receive a t-shirt. Team medals will be given at sign-in, so please designate one person to collect the medal. For those who pre-registered, shirts and wristbands for participants will be picked up at sign-in on Walk day.

Gates will open at 7:30AM. The Walk itself will begin promptly at 9:30AM. After the Walk, all activities will open for participants. There will be children’s activities:
  • fun jumps
  • a slide
  • a rock wall
  • art activities
  • a balloon artist
  • a roving magician
  • sensory activities
  • finger printing
  • the "smoke house,” provided by Lafayette Fire Dept
  • a small train, and more!
There will also be food, beverages, and snack items (while supplies last). Exhibitors will be available with information on programs, products and services to benefit those with autism and their families. Entertainment will be provided by a DJ from Domingue’s Disc Jockey Service. Winning tickets for the 1st raffle to be held in conjunction with the Walk for Hope will be pulled before the event ends that day. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Walk prior to the draw, so be sure to get yours - you just might win!

There will also be a Walk Team T-shirt contest at the Walk with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to be awarded. There is also a People’s Choice award this year so be sure to have your team members vote inside Blackham! Registration forms for the contest can be found here. A sample of the team t-shirt must accompany the form and are due to be turned in by Wednesday, April 2. These can be mailed in or brought in person to the Autism Society Acadiana office. No new t-shirt entries for the contest will be accepted at the Walk.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Autism Society Acadiana office, 235-4425 or contact us via email, Contact@AcadianaAutism.org.
Posted by: Vickie Nettles | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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