Today I walked for Autism for the 3rd year in a row. I just love this tradition. It's so fun to strap on my tennies and meet up with my team and thousands of other strangers from my community who care about the same cause. I think it gives those of us who feel so helpless in the face of Autism the chance to feel empowered. We may not be able to find the cause or cure for this devastating disorder that affects those we love, but we can get together, raise some money and awareness and get some good old fashioned exercise in the process.

This year we raised the bar and got team shirts! Our team name is "We Love Noah and Elijah!!" so we just slapped it on a bright colored shirt and instantly achieved a level of coolness that we previously hadn't known. I could tell that some of the people walking wanted to be on our team just so they could get the shirt and be as cool as us. The good news for those of you who maybe didn't make it out this year but are now wishing you HAD so that you TOO could be the owner of above cool shirt, is that we have extras for anyone who wants to join us next year!! Mark your calendars now.

This year our team was 21 strong. Here we are feeling super-cool in our shirts and eager to set out on the 5k walk:
And here's my sister Natalie and her husband Josh -- the awesome parents of my two nephews with Autism:
Noah who is 9 insisted on pulling the wagon most of the way on the walk. He was quite the trooper.
Elijah is 7 and views his pop-pop Jack as a human jungle gym. Nothing makes Elijah smile bigger than being up high and that is something Jack can provide:
This is little Alexis who joined us for the first time this year. Can you believe what a doll she is?
Kindra and Michael joined the team as well. They've been all over my blog lately so hopefully you recognize them. If not, they're here, here, here and here.
There were all sorts of teams out for the walk. Some even carried signs:
Here's a few of the many volunteers we encountered along the route who were cheering us on and handing out water:
It was a beautiful day out. It still felt stinkin' hot but we were thankful it was a bit cooler than in past years.
Yay -- success!:
What a great time we had. Thanks so much to everyone who walked on our team and to those of you who so generously donated to the cause. You helped me raise $900 toward my personal goal of $1,000 and my team raised a total of $1,730. Overall, all of the walkers for the Arizona Walk raised a grand total of $363,665 that will go a long way to bring us closer to finding the cause and cure for Autism. If you didn't get a chance to give, there's still time! Click here!
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