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County foundation raises funds for autism with 5K color run

Event supports local charities and spreads awareness

The Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation will host its “reinvented” Autism Color Run 5K and one-mile walk on Saturday, April 2, at Rowan College of South Jersey’s county campus.

Both location and date are new this year; the event was previously held in West Deptford in the fall.

“We are still welcoming teams and encouraging fundraising as much as possible,” said Courtney Schoettle, foundation coordinator for the Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation.

“We always say ‘every bit helps,’ and it’s all for the kids.”

The foundation hopes to raise funds and awareness for local autism programs, including social- skills programs and Respite Care, which provides assistance to at-home caregivers.

“All funds raised through the annual Autism Color Walk and 5K will go directly back to programs for special needs children and their families all throughout the Gloucester County area,” Schoettle explained. She noted that several groups will be supported, from the Miracle League special needs baseball association to community workshops.

Gloucester County Special Services staff and families will distribute information packets and T-shirts the day of the race/walk. Schoettle emphasized that registering solo isn’t the only way to participate; registering in a team is not only possible, but encouraged, as it includes a discounted signup fee.

“There are three ways to get involved: individual, team or virtual,” she noted. “If you have a team of 10 or join a team that already has 10, the registration fee is only $10. The day of the event, each participant will receive a shirt no matter which event they are doing.”

Color run/walk participants can make the event as colorful as possible.

“They will receive their own personal color packet in order to throw it up in the air at the start of the walk/race,” Schoettle said.

The event will kick off at 9 a.m. Registration for either the in-person color run or walk is $30 per participant, with a virtual 5K option at $20 for those who want to be socially distanced.

For more information and how to register, visit runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Sewell/GloucesterCountyAutism5K. Registration for all runners and walkers ends Friday at 11:59 a.m.

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