Autism Speaks Palm Beach Walk held in downtown West Palm Beach

Posted at 9:00 AM, Mar 05, 2017
and last updated 2019-02-13 11:58:03-05

This year’s Autism Speaks Palm Beach Walk happened in downtown West Palm Beach. It’s a cause Channel 5 proudly sponsors.

The event drew thousands of people to the waterfront and raised money for medical research to help families with children on the autism spectrum.

"it was very overwhelming," said mom Lisa Harrison, whose 6-year-old son, Hudson, was diagnosed with Autism when he was 18 months old. "We didn't really know what to expect and what was going on he was talking and then kind of like they say the light bulb went out and he went quiet."

This year's Autism Walk was different. A more sensory-friendly program, the music was softer and instead of clapping during the event, people shook pom poms.

According to the CDC, 1 in 68 children have autism.

Families and sponsors have been working hard and raising money for the walk. This year they raised about $300,000 for medical research.

This was the first year Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright spoke without his late wife Suzanne by his side.

"I'm so proud to be with you today and just thank you so much," said Bob Wright from the stage. "Keep at it."

The opening ceremony started at 9:15 a.m. Our very own Mike Trim was the emcee.

The two-mile walk started at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Datura Street and Flager Drive.