Thursday, July 25, 2024

SPTC holds Autism Awareness Walk/Run

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On Friday, April 19th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) organized an autism walk/run starting at Central Park to raise awareness, understanding, and support for children on the autism spectrum. The event began at 6AM, and by 9AM, the winners had completed the run. The event was a collaborative effort between Councilor Johnnia Duarte, Councilor Marina Kay, and Mayor Wally Nunez, with the support of the University of Belize’s Environmental Club to coincide with Autism Awareness Month.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex brain development disorder that affects as many as one out of every 150 children born, impairing social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. April is designated worldwide as World Autism Awareness Month, and similar events, such as the one organized in San Pedro, are held nationwide.

Many island athletes and enthusiastic participants arrived early to sign up for the walk/run, paying a small registration fee of $10 per person. All the fees collected from the event went towards donations to the Autism Belize organization. Autism Belize creates a strong and supportive community for families of children with autism and other special needs, as well as professionals in the field, autism advocates, and supporters. Their goal is to increase awareness, promote acceptance, and provide support. They believe an educated and accepting Belize will be a kinder, stronger, and more inclusive place for everyone.
After signing up, participants gathered at the start line in Central Park of San Pedro Town, where they could run or walk the race. The race started minutes later, with participants heading south to the roundabout near the Alaia Resort and racing back to the finish line at the Town Hall. At the finish line, the SPTC provided participants with hydrating drinks and water and even had a banquet of fruits.
The top finishers were awarded commemorative medals for their efforts. Jason Vasquez won first place, while Ernest Arzu and Rudy Novelo took second and third, respectively. “Running for a cause that’s close to our hearts! Step by step, we’re raising awareness for autism! Together, we are spreading understanding, acceptance, and support for individuals on the autism spectrum,” said organizers about the event.
The SPTC congratulates all the winners and thanks the participants who ran or walked to the finish line. The council extends a special thank you to everyone who made the event a fantastic turnout.

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