US – RRT Baltimore assists at Walk Now for Autism Speaks Event
November 14, 2015 was a crisp and sunny day for 2015 Walk Now for Autism Speaks Event in Baltimore, Maryland. RRT Volunteers from both the Baltimore and Washington Teams were privileged to be able to help The Autism Speaks Foundation in the operations of this event.
The event was held at the M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Baltimore Ravens) to raise public awareness and provide support and resources for those living with autism. The course took the walkers around Camden Yards and down the Raven Walk before ending back at the Stadium.
Before the walk started at 10am, families were given a chance to visit the 30 autism service provider booths in the Resource Fair as well as enjoy the different stage activities. Just before the walkers set off, The Danzatone Fitness Studio warmed everyone up with the Zumba moves.
More than 5000 people came to support their loved ones and the great cause. The Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, Delegate Ariana Kelly and Congressman Chris Van Hollen were also present and spoke in support of our community.
The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) provided support to the event coordinators both before and during the event. The night before the event was to take place, some of the volunteers assisted with setting up the tents, tables and chairs. Upon arrival at 7:00am the next morning, the volunteers were met by powerful gusts of wind, threatening to blow over everything it met with.
The biggest concern was the main row of connected tents, hosting multiple sponsor stations, were at risk of blowing over in the wind. This challenge was quickly overcome by a team of volunteers, who used two of their own trucks to quickly strap down tent poles. Despite the event’s rocky start the enthusiastic team of volunteers kept calm and cheerful and helped the organizers keep things intact for a successful event.
RRT also provided a refreshment rest stop along the event route which kept everyone motivated throughout the walk. Throughout the event many other tasks were attended to, such as putting up banners and signs, helping register attendees (including the Towson Tiger mascot), assisting other sponsors hand out their promo goodies, cheering on the walkers as they completed and making sure all the refreshments were given away until there was none left!
The willingness and energy of the RRT young people was noticed and commented on by many. The team just enjoyed being a part of such a good cause and hope to be in attendance at many more events to come!
With the combination of compassion, dedication and kind giving, the Autism Speaks Foundation raised more than $290,000 at this event. This will go a long way in supporting their mission to change the future for all who struggle with autism.