About 2,000 community autism supporters attended the fourth annual Santa Barbara Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday at East Beach in Santa Barbara, which raised $100,977 for autism.
Powered by volunteers and families with loved ones on the autism spectrum, this fundraising effort generates vital funds for autism research, awareness and family services. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder, with 1 in every 88 American children affected.
Celebrity walk attendees included Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, master of ceremonies Andrew Firestone, county Supervisor Salud Carbajal, District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Sheriff Bill Brown.
The opening ceremony began at 10 a.m., and the walk kicked off at 10:30 a.m. The 2011 walk hosted 1,200 people and raised $134,000.
Support for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Santa Barbara came from generous sponsors the Hutton Parker Foundation, A Design Studio, Young Construction, Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf LLP, The Bank of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Ralphs, Montecito Bank & Trust, Rex Sanchez Photography, KEYT3 Santa Barbara, ParentClick.com and Cox.
— Jess Block is a publicist representing Santa Barbara Walk Now for Autism Speaks.