Rain was in the forecast all day on Sunday, April 23, which could have spelled doom for the annual Autism Acceptance and Awareness Walk and BBQ.
However, despite the weather, throngs of people still managed to show up at Vernon’s Polson Park to take in the festivities for the seventh consecutive year.
Tents were sent up throughout the park in the afternoon, with a hot dog lunch (by donation), balloons, miniature golf, face painting, coffee and other informational pop-up events.
“We weren’t sure how many people would be here,” said Rebecca Robertson, who works with the North Okanagan Neurological Association (NONA) Child Development Centre. “But we got a great turnout. It was important to see people come and show up for support. Everything is by donation, so all the money we make today goes towards the event next year (in 2024).”
The NONA Child Development Centre put on the walk, along with the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS), Sky High Professional Group, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and MCFD Children and Youth with Support Needs (CYSN).
“It is a great event because it brings everyone together,” added Robertson. “We really want to bring acceptance for autism and to let people know what is available in the area for support for the family.”
Robertson also mentioned that they are hoping to send a kid to camp with some of the money that was raised during the event.
For more information about autism, and the services available to families, visit autismbc.ca.