The Breakthrough Run for Autism will be held April 8, with Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville inviting individuals, teams, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate.
The 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at Regal Cinemas Pinnacle Stadium 18 in Farragut’s Turkey Creek. The run, held during National Autism Awareness Month, supports Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville, a nonprofit organization committed to helping adults facing the challenges of autism in the East Tennessee region.
Lori Tucker, WATE-TV news anchor, will serve as honorary chair of the run and will be the emcee during the awards ceremony. Chelsey Vaughan, who serves on the Autism Breakthrough Foundation board, is the race director.
Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville invites any individual with a disability to register for the run or walk as a Breakthrough Buddy. A Buddy may request to participate with a volunteer, who will run or walk the course with the Buddy. Breakthrough Buddies receive special recognition during the award ceremony.
Community, corporate, and school teams are encouraged to enter, and awards will be given to the largest teams. Teams bring a festive atmosphere to the race, designing their own T-shirts or wearing matching accessories, a press release said. Families and friends have built teams supporting an individual on the autism spectrum.
The Breakthrough Run is held on a flat, certified course through the quiet neighborhoods behind Turkey Creek, with chip timing for the 5K.
Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville, started in 1999 by parents determined to improve the lives of adults with autism, provides individualized and community-based services that offer quality care, a safe environment, family connection, and community involvement in a cost-effective way. Autism spectrum disorder, a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication, is estimated to affect more than 2,000 individuals of all ages in Knox County.
Now in its 18th year, Autism Breakthrough provides residential services, in-home support, a Saturday therapeutic recreation program, day services that offer job skills development and lifelong education, and a social group for adults with Asperger’s syndrome. It is the first such organization in Tennessee to provide those services specifically for adults with autism, according to race director Vaughan.
Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for students, and individuals may pre-register online or by mail through April 2. Late registration, after April 3 and in person from 7-8 a.m. on race day, is $30. Register by March 30 to be guaranteed a T-shirt.
To register for the race, go to https://runnerreg.us/breakthroughautismrunwalk/.
Results will be posted on the KTC website at www.ktc.org and Total Race Solutions website at www.totalracesolutions.com. For more information, see the Autism Breakthrough website at www.breakthroughknoxville.com.
This race is a participating event in the Tennessee Grand Prix Race Series.
This press release was submitted by Kay Brookshire.
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