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ROAR Breaks Record and the Silence Surrounding Autism
Spirits were once again high at this year's ROAR for Autism event. On Sunday, April 25, at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Maryland, an enthusiastic group of more than 1,000 participants were on hand for ROAR for Autism's sixth annual bike ride, nature walk, and family fun festival. The event raises critically needed funds for autism research and programs at the Institute and serves as a way to recognize Autism Awareness Month.
Cyclists chose between 5, 10, 25, or 50 mile routes, while other participants opted to stay on two feet and walked the park's many beautiful nature trails. Everyone enjoyed the family fun festival, which included the Wegmans Wellness Village, crafts, face-painting, music, a balloon artist, a playground, and a raffle for a 47-inch LCD flat-screen TV.
This year, ROAR for Autism introduced the new Kids Who ROAR committee which included children ages 8 to 15, as well as friends, families, and classmates. The committee implemented a number of new activities at the family fun festival, sold raffle tickets, and created awareness within their communities and schools.
The Kids Who ROAR committee members were particularly active building their own personal event Web pages to raise awareness and funds. Through this technology, participants told friends and family about their participation in ROAR for Autism, created teams, posted pictures, and tracked donations. These efforts raised nearly $100,000 in online donations, which brought the total raised for this year's event to more than $370,000 in support of Kennedy Krieger's autism programs. Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's event a huge success!