The 4th Annual Autism Center Walk-A-Thon will be held on Sunday, May 18, 10-1 p.m., on the WOW Trail. Walkers will make a round trip starting at Lakes Region Community Services’ Main Office in Downtown Laconia, adjacent to the entrance of the trail. This event has grown considerably in its relatively short history. One of the things that make the Walkathon very special is its group of dedicated sponsors. Every business sponsoring the Walkathon – Kara Financial, Syl Lapierre Masonry, Peanuts Auto, and Right Angle Construction, is connected to a child who has been enrolled in the Autism Center. In addition to sponsoring the event, these parents, relatives and friends are also walkers and fundraisers. “We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful group of parents and family members who believe in the mission of the Autism Center and have committed to giving back year after year,” said LRCS Director of Development Joanne Piper Lang. The Autism Center empowers parents to educate, encourage, support and advocate for their child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In a natural, child-friendly environment, the Autism Center’s team teaches parents strategies that they can incorporate into their everyday family routines. The teaching model provides measurable goals and objectives. Staff works with each family to meet its specific needs. Last year’s event attracted more than 200 walkers and raised $14,000. The Walkathon begins and ends at Lakes Region Community Services in Downtown Laconia, the home of the Autism Center. Our Main Office is conveniently located at 719 North Main St. (across from the Laconia Clinic and adjacent to the entrance of the WOW Trail). Participants walk the length of the WOW Trail then turnaround and return to LRCS. The route is approximately 3.2 miles. Register online by visiting the Eventbrite registration page, or visit the Autism Center page to link to Eventbrite. Donations may be made online through the LRCS Giving form.
The Region III Family Support Council is sponsoring lunch immediately following the Walkathon. We will be grilling hotdogs and serving snacks and soft drinks. It’s a great chance to unwind and socialize for a bit after completing the walk. Let us know you’re coming, your T-shirt size (raise at least $25 and get an official Autism Center T-shirt) and whether you’ll join us for lunch following the walk. In addition to collecting donations using the pledge forms, walkers or teams of walkers can create a charitable page online via GoFundme.com and share it with everyone they know through an email link or by posting their page on Facebook. GoFundMe sends the donations you collect online directly to LRCS, less 9.25% in processing fees. If a group would like to walk and raise money together, they can form a team. If you can’t walk, you can always support someone you know who is. GoFundMe allows individuals to create fundraising pages to raise money for non-profit organizations. Lakes Region Community Services is a certified charity with GoFundMe. If you plan on raising money for the Walkathon online through GoFundMe, please make sure you set up a charity page. That way the funds come directly to us. The easiest way to do this is to go to http://www.gofundme.com/?route=charitysearch&term=020329795 and click “Raise money”. Using the search feature, you will find us listed as Lakes Region Community Services Council. If you have any questions, contact GoFundMe’s technical support or call 581-1544. There is limited parking available on site, but ample parking is available on the street, in municipal lots and across from LRCS at the Laconia Clinic. Please join us and enjoy a brisk walk on a spring day for a great cause!