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Walk Now for Autism Speaks hits Rose Bowl

April 21, 2012 12:38:22 AM PDT
Thousands of people laced up their walking shoes Saturday in Pasadena to support those affected by autism.

The 10th annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks event got under way at 8 a.m. at the Rose Bowl. The 5k route draws families seeking resources and support.

ABC7 was an event sponsor, and Eyewitness News anchor Phillip Palmer was the master of ceremonies for the event. Eyewitness News members Michelle Tuzee, Dallas Raines and Danny Romero were also there supporting the family-friendly community event.

An estimated 1 in 88 children is diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. Organizers and walkers say they've noticed the Autism walk is growing larger every year, evidence of increased awareness in Southern California as an event where children feel safe from scrutiny.

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Pasadena is the largest of its kind in the country. Saturday's walk raised more than $1.5 million.

"Every penny raised here is staying right here in L.A. to fund research at UCLA, USC, Children's Hospital, California Institute of Technology," said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. "It's the most cutting-edge research on environment, on genetics, on treatments for children here today that can improve their lives."

Last year, the three-mile run-walk raised more than $1.3 million.


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