On Saturday, my team and I walked for the ninth year in a row to raise money and awareness for autism. I was looking back at photos from last year's walk and there were a lot of similarities -- same course, same kelly green shirts, same positive spirit -- but there were a few notable differences:

1 -- My nephew Noah is now TALLER than me!! He is 15 and grew like a weed last year!

2 -- We had 91 people turn out to walk on our team this year (up from 82 last year) -- many who have walked faithfully year in and year out, and quite a few new faces who were so sweet to get up at the crack of dawn to support this cause.

3 -- We raised OVER $10,000 THIS YEAR -- $10,420 to be exact -- up from $7,702 last year -- and the most of any team, earning us top-line mention on the back of the Zoowalk t-shirts. Last year we had a goal of $7K and we exceeded it. We exceed our goal every year. So last year as we were walking back to our cars after the event, my sister and I threw out a number we never in a million years thought we would be able to attain. Ten thousand. What would happen if we just put it out there and said we were going to try to raise $10,000 next year? We might not reach that number. We could fail. But setting a big-hairy-audacious goal would help us to maximize our potential and raise the most we possibly could for autism research, even it if wasn't $10,000. So we said it out loud and posted it on our team page earlier this summer. And low-and-behold, we did it!! CRAZY.

Thank you to each and every one of you who donated and helped us to do something great in the fight to find answers for the 1 in 68 children affected by autism!!! The proceeds we raised will go toward the local ASU research program. The ASU research program is doing some exciting studies that are revealing practical treatments that are being implemented to change childrens' lives NOW.

If you didn't get a chance to participate this year -- it's not too late! Even though our team reached our fundraising goal, the overall fundraising goal for the event is $50,000 short. You can still donate online here! And plan ahead to join us next year! It's always on the 1st Saturday in October.

Here are some photos from walk day! My nephews Noah and Elijah both have autism. As our team name states -- we LOVE them and are so proud to walk in their honor! Noah can be seen in the photos below pushing Elijah in a cart -- his favorite thing about the walk.
Equipment used for above photos: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens
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