CAMANCHE — Organizers for the third annual Strides for Clinton County Autism Family Walk and 5K run agreed that Saturday’s turnout was better than last year.
“It’s getting bigger every year,” Lori Bigwood, one of the organizers for the event, said.
The run/walk was held at Imperial Lanes, 1823 S Washington Boulevard, Camanche. Bigwood said that 650 people had pre-registered before Saturday and many more registered the day of the walk.
The annual event is held each year to raise funds for special education teachers in Clinton County. This year, proceeds also are going to provide scholarships to tho-se seniors entering college to study a profession that could help those affected by autism. Bigwood said Taylor Bialias from Camanche High School received the scholarship this year.
“Any money they can raise is awesome,” Leanna Rosebeck, of Camanche, said.
Rosebeck was participating in the event for the first year. Her son, Blazin Rosebeck, 3, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. She felt the walk is a great fundraiser for the cause.
Organizers expanded the event this year. Area vendors set up tables outside the bowling alley. Inside the building, the raffle, bake sale and other fundraisers were set up.
The event also included activities for the children at the event. Comprehensive Rehab set up games. Kristal Shaff offered face painting. Children could go into a small enclosed area to pet Crystal, a therapy rabbit owned by Mark Wood.
Bigwood said they received great support from Camanche, Clinton, DeWitt and surrounding communities.
“Kids that have it (autism) benefit from all of the money that is raised from it (the event),” Nichole Cain, of Preston, said.
She and her daughter, Elly, 8, were participating in the walk in a team for her cousin Avery Homan. This was Cain’s second year at the event.