El CENTRO – Imperial Valleyâ€™sÂ Bucklin Park, a park that isÂ usuallyÂ a home forÂ ducks and family picnics, was used for a larger service this Saturday. The “Stomping out Autism” 5K Run/Walk highlighted those affected by autism as runners/walkers wearing shirts and logos that represented diagnosed family members or friends circled the park.
Â “I came to show support for my son who has autism,â€ said El Centro resident Claudia Carrillo as she walked with her family and son. â€œHe is nine, and I wanted to do something for him, to show him I support him.”
Â El Centro Police Athletic League joined forces with the Autism support groupÂ of Imperial County, ensuring the first-time event was a huge success with over 150 Imperial Valley residents participating in the run/walk aroundÂ the park.
Â “We hope to have many more run/walks,â€ said James Gonzalez, president of the Autism Support for Imperial County. â€œNext time, we hope to have even more people come out and show their support. But for our first time, I think it was an amazing turn-out.” According to Gonzalez, theÂ idea for the event cameÂ from members of the Autism Support group when theyÂ approached him and asked if a run/walk could be done in the Imperial Valley to gain support for their group.
Â For more information on the next Autism Support 5K Run/Walk, contact Autism Support of Imperial Valley atÂ www.autismofimperial.com,Â or the El Centro PAL at (760) 337-4577.