HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
More than 1,600 Virginians came out to walk and run in support of kids with autism on Saturday.
It was for the 12-th annual Autism Society of Central Virginia 5k at Innsbrook Pavilion in Henrico County. 8 News Anchor Amie McLain was this year’s emcee for the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
People from across the Commonwealth participated. Kristy Trayer and her twin 13-year-old boys, who have autism, have run in the event for years and love it. "This was a great venue to come and not have to explain what they're doing, how they're making noises, why they're making noises,” Trayer said.
Today, 1 in 68 kids is diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder, according to the Autism Society website. It is the fastest growing developmental disability.
Erica Hamlin walked to raise awareness about autism. Her five-year-old son, Elijah, has autism. She said organizations like Autism Society play a major role in helping families. "Everybody's so wonderful and just thankful that they had it in their hearts to do this,” Hamiln said.
U.S. Representative Eric Cantor (VA-R) also participated in the 5k. He walked with several local families who have personally inspired him. Cantor said, "We want them to be part of our community. Obviously in Washington we're trying to work to try to understand more about autism and what we can do for our friends in the community."
Last year’s event raised nearly $97,000. All the money raised from this year’s 5k will go towards supporting local programs.