The 8th annual Greater Abilene Walk Now For Autism Speaks is coming this Saturday, April 14th at the Abilene Zoo. Registration begins at 9am. It's an event that will attract thousands to raise money for Autism advocacy and research. Even Elvis will be there!

This year's walk is a particularly special one, as the Greater Abilene Walk Now For Autism will reach the $1 Million mark in fundraising dollars for autism research. “Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks event has grown each year” said Melissa Richardson, Abilene Walk Chair.

The Abilene walk is one of 85 that happen around the nation, but our walk sets itself apart from most. According to Pat Robbins, Texas Director for Autism Speaks, tells me that the annual San Angelo and Permian Basin walks were spawned from the one started in Abilene. So, not only has our walk increased in popularity, it has branched out into other areas of west Texas. Robbins also says "It's a model the whole nation talks about".

Autism, a disorder that changes the brain's normal development of social and communication skills, affects one in 88 children. It is a disease that is considered by many to have reached epidemic proportions in the United States.

The event will include a family-manageable walk and Community Resource fair with educational sources, therapists, child-friendly activities and more. It's a great way for families affected by autism to find valuable resources.

There's still time to get involved this year. Click this link for more information about the 2012 Greater Abilene Walk Now for Autism Speaks.