Tuesday, April 22, 2008

7th Annual Autism Walk

This upcoming Saturday, April 26th, is TEAAM's 7th Annual Autism Walk.

For many people, this is a confusing concept so let me try to explain. There is a national autism organization called The Autism Society of America. Most states have a state chapter of this national chapter. In Alabama, the chapter is called The Autism Society of Alabama. Then, there are small chapters of the Alabama Autism Society all around Alabama. Well, TEAAM is Mississippi's chapter of the national organization. TEAAM stands for 'together enhancing autism awareness in Mississippi' and is the lead autism organization in Mississippi. So TEAAM is the equivalent of the Autism Society of Alabama.

April is National Autism Awareness month, and that pretty much extends to be a global conception. Soooo, all around the United States, and in other countries as well, states have annual autism walks in order to raise awareness and monies. In Alabama, the Autism Society of Alabama has one big walk and small groups from all over the state form teams and walk in honor of a child or children and raise money for the cause. Well, the same thing happens here in Mississippi. TEAAM sets the date for the state-wide walk and then small groups from all over the state form teams to walk and raise money that goes towards all the causes that TEAAM supports. Teams are made up of various different people. Sometimes, a family will form a team for their child and raise money in honor of that one child. Other teams, like ours, are formed from people all over the community and honor several different children. When the team captain forms the team and registers the team, they have to come up with a name. At our first meeting, we decided to name our team TEAAM Neshoba. Neshoba is the county we are from and we ended up registering 5 children with an autism spectrum disorder in Neshoba County, along with their families, friends, educators, and therapists. So TEAAM Neshoba is made up of 5 children with autism and about 50+ interested others. This is so exciting for our county. From looking at the TEAAM website, we are one of about 20 teams to be participating in this state-wide function on Saturday.

We raised a good bit of money as well. Initially, we started out with a goal of $250 and I quickly saw we were going to make that goal so I raised it to $500. To date, we have raised almost $700 thanks to a lot of hard work from TEAAM Neshoba members and people who are willing to donate to the cause. A big THANK YOU!!!! to everyone who took the time to get out and get donations and an ESPECIALLY BIG THANK YOU!!!! to those of you that donated.

My mission is to keep TEAAM Neshoba going as a parent support group for parents of children with all developmental disabilities.

For more information about TEAAM or TEAAM Neshoba, you can visit the following pages.

http://www.teaam.org/ Then click on 'get involved' and that will take you to the firstgiving page and tell about the walk and fundraising. I encourage you to browse about the TEAAM website and just read about what your donations support, as well as the firstgiving part of the website.

Also, if you will look to the right of the post, you will see a box that you can click that will take you to TEAAM Neshoba's fundraising page. From looking at the ticker on that box, you can see how much money we've raised to date. Donations will be excepted through that online giving until August 2008.

I will not be at the walk on Saturday because my sweet baby Erin turns 4 on April 30th and her princess birthday party conflicts with the walk. But thank you for taking the time to read about TEAAM, TEAAM Neshoba, and the 7th Annual Autism Walk. I intend to post pics as soon as I get some.

Oh, and by the way, the walk is being held at 100 Winner Circle, Winner Circle's Park, Flowood, Mississippi. Registration starts at 11:00 and the cermony will start at noon. Lunch will be served and there will also be activities for the children to paritipate in and win some prizies.

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