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Autism Society Oakland County hosts Walk 4 Autism  

 In Art & Gallery News, Park West CARES, Philanthropy, Video

In its continued effort to raise awareness for autism, Park West Gallery is supporting the 2016 Walk 4 Autism to benefit Autism Society Oakland County.

The walk will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 24 at Somerset Collection mall, located at 2800 West Big Beaver Road in Troy, Michigan.

Registration takes place 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., with a rally and stretch immediately following. The walk itself begins at 9:15 a.m. and lasts for an hour, and the remaining time is dedicated to recognitions. The walk includes music, raffles, a sensory area camp for kids from Kaufman Children’s Center, art and crafts and more.

There are roughly 16,000 individuals diagnosed with autism in Oakland County, in which Park West Gallery is located. Formed in 1985, Autism Society Oakland County provides services and resources to these individuals and their families.

Park West is serving as a platinum sponsor for the walk. Barbara Brennan, president of Autism Society Oakland County, says events like the walk provide the funds necessary for providing individuals with autism real-world skills so they can lead meaningful and independent lives. These can include food preparation or job interview techniques.

“Awareness used to be the battle,” Brennan says. “Now it’s acceptance, getting them to see that yes, this person may act or behave this way, but inside you have no idea their potential, and it’s unlocking that potential and helping other people to see them for the full person they could be.”

The Park West Foundation donated to Autism Society Oakland County on April 1 in honor of April being Autism Awareness Month. The gallery also displayed a banner on its building in Southfield, Michigan to promote awareness as well as illuminating the building with blue lights in solidarity with the “Light It Up Blue” campaign.

Registration is $12 per person and free for children ages 5 and under. Online registration and payments are accepted at www.crowdrise.com/2016walk4autism as well as www.autismsocietyoaklandcounty.org or by email at asocmi@gmail.com.

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