PDT Staff Writer
The Southern Ohio Autism Project and the Surviving Our Loss and Continuing Everyday (SOLACE) organization joined forces to host a multifaceted community event at Millbrook Park in New Boston.
More than 700 people came out Saturday for the the Autism Project of Southern Ohio’s Walk for Autism Awareness and SOLACE’s Walk for Memories.
Michael Bell, president of the Autism Project of Southern Ohio, said the purpose was to raise awareness about autism, and to work in conjunction with the SOLACE organization. Bell said the number of people that came out exceeded his expectations.
”We are having this Walk for Autism Awareness in honor of April being Autism Awareness Month. This is tremendous, I love the community, and the support that they give us. This is our first time to have this at Millbrook Park and for all of these people to come out like this means a lot,” Bell said.
Jo Anna Krohn, founder of the SOLACE organization said she is overwhelmed by the support from the community.
“What we are doing is promoting drug awareness and prevention and recovery. Five years ago today, I received the call that my son Wes had shot himself, so just to see so many people come out, and to understand that this is a disease that is consuming our children, and taken them from us just means everything in the world to me,” Krohn said.
The event also included a preview of RISE UP a video to be used in schools throughout Ohio and live performances by the Josh Stewart Band and Tyme Lyne Bandits band.
Bell conducted an auction, full of items donated by local businesses. There was also a Chinese auction and a car show.
Vendors were present with booths with baked goods to handcrafted items for sale.
Children were afforded the luxury of having their faces painted at booth, as well as an opportunity to play in the park playground during the event.
Another activity was a joint Balloon release between the two organizations.
The event also included the unveiling of the new Wheelchair swing in Millbrook Park.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaPDTWill.