On Friday, April 1st, the efforts for creating awareness about Autism came in the form of “Lighting It Up Blue.” Staff members from across the District donned blue apparel in support of this campaign.
On Saturday, April 2nd, approximately 2,000 St. Lucie Public Schools, community organizations, and families poured into Tradition Square to begin the Walk. Each year this event continues to grow and help bring about a greater awareness of autism.
Event organizers Valentina Whyte and Jessica McLaughlin, both from West Gate K – 8, began organizing this event four years ago. This year’s collaboration with Palm Pointe brought the welcomed support of Cheryl Petrino. With its growth and community support, the Walk has turned into an event. “We are so thankful for the opportunity to bring awareness, help raise money, and help change the future for those with autism,” said McLaughlin. Already, tallies show that this year’s event has helped raise over $24,000.00.
Executive Director of Student Services and Exceptional Student Education Bill Tomlinson said, “We derive great benefit from having this opportunity to come together in support of such a worthwhile event. It brings about such an awareness to autism and the efforts that are under way to support the children and families both in their home and at school. Events like this one bring about knowledge and understanding and lead to greater acceptance of individuals with disabilities.”