The annual Austin’s Shoes Reconnect 4 Autism Color Run 5K returns to Corinth next weekend for the third edition of the awareness fundraiser.
In the last two years, more than 2,000 participates have taken part in the color run which is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 29. The event will be held for the first time at Shiloh Ridge Golf Course.
“The location has changed, but the goal has not,” said founder Brad Essary. “We are still focused on promoting autism awareness and acceptance in North Mississippi with the run.”
Registration is open and can be done online at reconnect4autism.com or at Austin’s Shoes in Corinth.
Cost to register is $35 for adults and $25 for children through Friday, April 28. Race day registration is $40 for adults and $30 for children. Participants with autism can enter at no cost.
“Autism families need support, so as a way to promote support and teamwork, we are offering a team discount,” said Essary. “Those who register five or more in the same cart will get a $2 discount per person.”
A team of 10 or more will be entered to win an iPad.
A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, Autism is believed to effect an more than 21 million people worldwide.
One local mother is thankful her autistic son gets to participate in the color run.
“Being a mother with a child on the autism spectrum, the color run is very special to me. It allows my son, Jacob, the chance to face a couple of his fears including interacting with people and loud noises,” said Rochelle Hughey. “It also gives him a chance to see there are other people just like him and no matter what he’s a creation of God.”
Hughey and her son plan to participate in the color run again this year.
There is a one mile route and also a 5K or three mile route. Each route takes participates along the back nine holes of the golf course and some residential areas at Shiloh Ridge.
Sponsor prizes include $100 gift cards from Austin’s Shoes, The Dinner Bell and Papa John’s Pizza and four tickets to Corey Smith and The Oak Ridge Boys at the Crossroads Arena. There will also be giveaways from Subway, Malco, Fred’s, Chuck E. Cheese, Baskin Robbins and Corinth Escape rooms and prizes from other sponsors such as TriGreen John Deere Company.
A concert from Roses Unread and a Beard Competition are both additional events that are part of the run.
“The Beard Competition is going to help a family obtain an autism service dog for their son,” said Essary.
Sponsors and volunteers are still needed, as well.
“Volunteers are a must because they are the ones who make the color run so amazing,” added Essary.
(For more information, visit reconnect4autism.com.)