The 13th annual Breakthrough Run for Autism will be held Saturday, April 27, with Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville inviting individuals, teams, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate.
Breakthrough’s 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 8:30 a.m. that Saturday 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. Happy Lee, a Breakthrough volunteer, is the race director.
Any individual with a disability may 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. Families and friends have built teams supporting an individual on the autism spectrum.
The Breakthrough Run is held on a flat, USATF-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 20th year, Autism Breakthrough provides residential services, in-home support, a Saturday therapeutic recreation program, day activities focusing on lifelong education, job skill development and community integration, 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 Lee.
Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for students, and individuals may pre-register online or by mail through April 17. Registration after April 17 and in person from 7-7:30 a.m. on race day is $30. This race is a participating event in the Run and See Tennessee Grand Prix Series.
To register for the race, go to https://runsignup.com/Race/TN/Knoxville/BreakthroughRunforAutism.
Results will be posted on the KTC website, www.ktc.org, and Total Race Solutions website, www.totalracesolutions.com. For more information, see the Autism Breakthrough website,
www.breakthroughknoxville.org, or contact Beth Ritchie at (865) 247-0065, ext. 25.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photos were submitted by Kay Brookshire.
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