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5K raises autism funds, awareness

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

On Saturday, April 13, the community came to Old Post Road School to support the League School’s many students with a late morning 5K. Despite the dreary weather, runners and walkers alike were eager to support the school’s efforts to make its playground accessible to its students - and to have a great time, while they were at it.

With a DJ playing upbeat tunes and the signal to go, participants bolted off, eager to achieve their best-ever 5K times.

Since its establishment in 1966, the League School has provided specialized education for children who are on the autism spectrum. Designed to ensure the success of its students, the League School’s curriculum encourages the development of social, academic, emotional, behavioral, and other skills. Part of the students’ education extends past their time at the classroom, and out on the playground. Money raised during this year’s 5K contributed to a new playground at the school, which will help students further their skills.

“It’s good to see people come and support,” said Tim McCabe, head of development for the League School. “It’s a good feeling.”

Many parents, a number of students, teachers, family, and friends - and even local residents - came out to participate in the race.

Kayla Halsall was one of Saturday’s runners. She walked with her family in the 5K and has every year since the race began. As a teacher at the school, Halsall is most excited to “support [her students]” in the race.

Like Halsall, others came out to the race most excited to support the students of the League School.

One family wore matching superhero costumes during their run. Others came out with the additional goal of beating their previous 5K records.

At the end of the race, Lindsey Wagner, one of the organizers, announced the winners. The first three in the men’s category were Michael Pruell in first, Anthony Landry in second, and Mike Caberella in third. In the women’s category, Amanda Ashley came in first, Sarah Parks came in second, and Christine Lugrang came in third. First in the under 14 category was Cash Cantrell and first in the over 60 category was Doug Usher.

The youngest racer in the 5K is believed to have been six years old, while the oldest is believed to have been 75.

For runners, the 5K was a simple affair: wake up early, get dressed, and get running.

For children with autism, a 5K can sometimes be a difficult affair; it can be too loud, have too many people, and sometimes be too stressful. However, The League School’s 5K showed that their students have the support of so many people around them. With $21,000 raised, the school is one step closer to getting the play area it needs to continue enriching its students’ lives.

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