The Canadian Walk season begins with Montreal!
Written by Krista Leitham, Walk & Community Fundraising Manager, Quebec & Ottawa Region
The Walk season kicked off this past weekend with the third annual Montreal Walk Now For Autism Speaks which was held on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at Stade Uniprix, welcoming over 650 participants. Mother Nature delivered endless rain yet the abundant energy and spirit of Walkers and Volunteers proved that the mission of our Walk reigns strong! We achieved our fundraising goal of $200,000 despite the lower numbers given the extreme weather, and importantly we gained momentum with major French and English media coverage. Our opening ceremonies ended with presenting sponsor Vic Bertrand of Mega Bloks presenting a cheque of $60,000 to Frank Viti, the President and CEO of Autism Speaks Canada.
This bilingual event showcased talent from within the autism community with a Glee Club performance, moving rendition of the national anthem, photography services and on-site I.T. specialist. The Resource Fair participants ranged from ASD service providers of GPS locators to an art studio, and the top attractions were interactive displays of adapted tennis and soccer. Hitting a ball in mud puddles was every child’s dream come true!
A grand thank you to our presenting sponsor Mega Bloks and national sponsor Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us whose tents were crowd-pleasers with toy giveaways, play stations and mascot hugs! Their continued support and generous participation is key to the success of our Walk. Our media sponsor The Beat 92.5 FM kept the mood upbeat with great tunes, beverage sponsor Starbucks kept the java moving and provided a big crew of student volunteers to help man the inflatable games. Food sponsors Puresource, Glutino, Udi’s, Snackergy and hamburger sponsor La Plaza Management Group braved the winds and fed the crowds. Water sponsor National Bank Financial-Sheiner Levine Goodman congratulated Walkers personally at the end of the Walk and handed them well-deserved refreshment. Supplier sponsors Stade Uniprix and Kloda Productions handled site and production needs expertly.
A special thank you to Team Canadiens-Pierre Groulx, Canadiens hockey coach, who formed a Walk team after organizing a Canadiens home game on April 1st dedicated to autism awareness. Pierre brought his Canadiens hockey player friends Carey Price and Josh Gorges who shone a celebrity light on the Walk event with grace and patience from the many fans. New to the 2013 Montreal Walk, their support validated to many walk families that autism is not limited to the autism community, but to the community-at-large.
The Autism Speaks Canada blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks Canada’s beliefs or point of view.