By CALVIN PYNN
The second annual “Light It Up Blue” 5k, supporting the organization Autism Speaks, was held Saturday in Bissett Park from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
According to an announcement on the event’s Facebook page, the public was invited to participate in the 5k, alongside the occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy associations at Radford University. The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) On Campus Transition Partnership also participated.
The run supported the funding for research into the causes, preventions, treatments, and cure for autism. All proceeds were donated to the Autism Speaks research and advocacy organization.
Interested participants were able to register for either the 5K run, or the family friendly one-mile walk as an individual or a team. Those who registered were encouraged to spread the word and keep the fundraiser going through their own social media profiles, websites, and community networks.
Last year’s inaugural Light It Up Blue 5K raised $4,474, drew 200 participants, and involved 19 community partners.
Refreshments, entertainment, and information for the event were provided in the park. Awards were also given at the finish line for top finishers and top fundraisers, and each participant received a runner bag with a certificate of participation, as well as other items from the event’s sponsors.
Light It Up Blue is a global movement started to promote April as Autism Awareness Month.
Last Wednesday, April 2, students and faculty at Radford University honored the month by gathering at the fountain on campus, donning shades of blue, handing out blue glowsticks, and even dying the water in the fountain blue. The event was coordinated through the University’s disability resource office.
For more information, visit http://autismspeaksu.org/radford.