April 25, 2009

Huntington, WV Walk For Autism 2009

Each year, the Huntington Area Autism Society (HAAS), Autism Services Center (ASC) and the WV Autism Training Center (ATC) at Marshall University combine efforts to host a Walk For Autism.

Some photos from the event held Saturday at Ritter Park:

Each year interest and participation grows, and 2009 was no exception. More than 500 people participated in the event, which also included biking and running categories.

Below: Elaine Harvey, President of HAAS and former board member of the national Autism Society of America greets the crowd, along with Tim Irr from WSAZ (left) and regional radio legend JB Miller.

Elaine was nominated for, and won, the Herald-Dispatch 2008 Volunteer of The Year Award for her work on behalf of the autism community.

Below: Ruth Sullivan, founding member and the first elected President of the Autism Society of America inspired the crowd before the walk.

The parent of an individual with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a professional in the field, the pioneering work carried out by Ruth during the past 45 years played a significant role in the development of many of the services available nationwide today.

Below: Barbara Cottrill, Executive Director of the WV ATC, talking to a Walk participant before lining up for the 3.1 mile trek.

Barbara's work at the Autism Training Center has significantly improved educational services available to children with an ASD in West Virginia, and the Family Focus PBS model through which the ATC works is a national model for best practice methods. Barbara is currently a Co-Chair for the Autism Society of America's Panel of Professional Advisors.

Below: ASC Executive Director Mike Grady, with his grandson Grady. The Autism Services Center recently celebrated it's 30th year of service delivery in West Virginia.

In addition to specializing in service delivery to individuals with ASD, the Autism Services Center provides case management and direct services of the highest quality to hundreds of individuals diagnosed with various developmental disabilities living in the southwest region of the state.

Below: The ATC's College Program was well represented. Justin Kaunitz and Keshia Peterson stopped for a photo just prior to the finish line.

Below: Some folks just enjoy having their picture taken, even if they are sweaty!

Jason Deusenberry (left), an employee of Autism Services Center and soon-to-be graduate of Marshall University's Counseling program, with Marc Ellison at the finish line of the 3 mile hike.

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