This year’s Victoria Autism Walk being held at the University of Victoria has a special guest announcing the start of the race.
Nine-year-old Thomas Anderson, who has autism and lives in Colwood, will be stepping up to the microphone to give the word to start the four kilometre walk or eight kilometre run.
Thomas’ father, Stephen Anderson, the manager of corporate safety and security for B.C. Transit, said his son is excited about the honour.
Anderson said that Thomas communicates well for a child with autism and should be willing and able to give the word to kick off the event.
As a parent, Anderson said that he is proud to see his son receive this honour and knows that money and awareness raised by the event will help children with autism to find success in life.
“From a parent’s perspective, knowing that early intervention has helped them get to this moment and will help them in the future is just one of those things that you can be somewhat happy and certainly proud of,” Anderson said.
A few employees with B.C. Transit in Victoria have children with autism, so the corporation has decided to support the run by providing a double-decker bus to bring Team Transit participants to the event to participate.
Anderson said that if enough people are interested they will also bring other participants aboard for a short joy ride around UVic in the bus.
All funds collected at the event will go towards agencies such as the Mosaic Learning Society and the Victoria Society for Children With Autism, who raise awareness and support families who have children with autism.
All of the money collected will stay in the Greater Victoria region.
The run is Sunday, April 15, with registration at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot near Centennial Stadium.
Presentations and announcements will take place at 9:15 a.m and a mass warm-up to music will be held at 9:45 a.m. The walk and run starts at 10 a.m.
For more information or to register online visit www.victoriaautismwalk.com.