Thousands of walkers joined together at Suffolk Downs on Sunday, October 2 to raise much-needed funds for critical scientific research and to increase autism awareness at the 11th Annual Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Just as thoroughbred racehorses do four days a week at Suffolk Downs, walkers gathered in the paddock before proceeding onto the racetrack where they made their way around the one-mile dirt surface. The event also included a community resource fair and various forms of family entertainment, including live music, games and other activities for kids. Suffolk Downs has hosted the Greater Boston walk since 2007.
“Suffolk Downs has been an incredible partner,” said Erica Giunta, Executive Director of the New England chapter of Autism Speaks. “Not only have they provided us with an outstanding venue for our walk, but their staff puts in a lot of effort into making our event so successful each year. They couldn’t be more accommodating.”
All proceeds from the event benefit Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading autism advocacy organization. Established in 2000, the Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks and have attracted hundreds of thousands of walkers worldwide who have raised tens of millions of dollars for autism research.
Over the last five years, the Greater Boston walk at Suffolk Downs has raised a total of $5 million dollars for Autism Speaks.
Autism is a complex neurological disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges.