PLAINFIELD, NJ - WallynZavy's Autistic Kids Can Do! and Plainfield Public Schools/SEPAG presents the Annual 5K Walk for Autism and Disability Awareness on Saturday, April 28.
WallynZavy's Autistic Kids Can Do! is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created by Taleana Williams Hurst, providing support and resources for families who have autistic and special needs children through a variety of programs and recreation.
According to Hurst, the organization is named after her sons, "Wally, who falls under the special needs umbrella, and Xavier, who happens to be autistic."
The seed for creating the non-profit was planted in 2005 when, Hurst said, "I realized that the wrap program was about to end for the preschoolers who were in the district." At the time she worked in corporate America, and she said of that time, "What am I going to do?"
In 2009, Hurst and her sons were featured in a documentary made for Children's Specialized Hospital called Make Friends with Autism, sponsored by Kohl's Cares.
WallynZavy's Autistic Kids Can Do! runs workshops and seminars to make sure parents know their rights. Social play dates, Hurst says, are important, and her organization will visit bounce houses, go bowling, and more.
Local vendors will be there on Saturday. There will also be face painting, Zumba®, arts and crafts, games, and giveaways.
Hurst said that student members of the district's VIP, or Volunteering is Priceless, program, which consists of students who provide feedback about existing services, as well as gaps in services, from a youth's perspective, will also participate.
Saturday's 5K walk starts in the parking lot near the cafeteria at Plainfield High School, 950 Park Ave. Registration runs from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 11 a.m. A water station will be available at every 1K mark.
Individuals can register up to the day of the walk. Adult registration costs $5; children 5-17 are $2, and children under 5 years are free. There is a discount if you show a student I.D.
A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.