DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida community came together for a special autism awareness walk.
More than 10,000 people gathered at Doral Central Park to take part in the 2019 Autism Speaks Miami Walk, Sunday morning.
Participants said they are looking to create inclusion for people who live with autism.
“They wouldn’t change their children for the world. All they want is for you to understand them,” said Allan Young, chairman of the board for the South Florida Ford Dealers. “Autism is a unique, unique syndrome.”
The sensory-friendly walk-a-thon helped raise funds for Autism Speaks, now in its 20th year.
The event is part of World Autism Month, a global movement to increase understanding and acceptance of people in the autism spectrum.
“It is very encouraging to see this amount of people here,” said Carolina Lizarralde, executive director of Autism Speaks South Florida. “We are fundraising in order for Autism Speaks to be able to continue the research, the advocacy efforts, and all of our family services support that we give all families, not just here in South Florida but around the country.”
South Florida Ford Dealers showed some extra love for the cause on top of their major donation.
“We’re gonna give an additional $5 all day long to everything you post, so take your cameras out,” said Young.
The auto dealers gave an additional $5 to Autism Speaks for every photo of the walk posted on social media Sunday with the hashtag #Ford4Autism.
“We are here to organically help these people, help the children get what they need, because as a father of a child with autism in the spectrum, it’s something that you have to be passionate about,” said Young.
Officials said the walk raised over $400,000 to help enhance the lives of those living with autism.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.