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April 8, 2010

Autism walk to be held Saturday at Glimmerglass State Park

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Participants with a minimum of $25 in pledges will receive the 2010 Walk for Autism T-shirt. Registration for the Cooperstown walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. Individuals will have the opportunity to participate in either 5K run or a 2-mile walk, both scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. People can register online by visiting kelbermancenter.org. The event will be held outdoors rain or shine, according to organizers.



Watson, who also helped chair the Cooperstown event last year, said Glimmerglass State Park is such a beautiful location to have the walk and run because of all the trails and paved walking areas.



``We wanted to get people out into our New York state parks with everything going on (economically with them) these days,’’ said Watson, of Cherry Valley.



Activities at the Cooperstown site will include free ice cream and a roast pork dinner (hot dogs too), face paintings, a 50/50 raffle and a Chinese auction. The dinner, which will be available at 11:30 a.m., will cost $7. To pre-order a dinner e-mail, coopwalkforautismdinner@gmail. com.



Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability and has touched most of us through a family member, friend or neighbor, said Batson.



Watson said her link to autism is through her son Ashton. She said when she told people her son was turning 7, it felt like the family was hitting a milestone because that meant autism had been a part of their life for five years.



``Five years ago, when Ashton lost all of his words and was diagnosed at the age of 2, Marc (her husband) and I were devastated as anyone would be,’’ said Watson. ``Our emotions ran the gamut and we were terrified.’’



After Ashton was diagnosed, the Watsons learned about the Upstate Cerebral Palsy programs First Steps & the Promise Program.



``We came to visit the program and have never left,’’ said Watson. ``Kelberman is our extended family.’’

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