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Jul 18, 2023

UCPCC’s Run Walk & Roll 5K 2023 and Autism Awareness Fair: A Celebration of Inclusion and Support

On April 1, 2023, United Cerebral Palsy Central California hosted its highly anticipated second annual Run Walk & Roll 5K and Autism Awareness Fair in Hanford. This extraordinary event brought together families, community members, and organizations to raise awareness and support for individuals with disabilities. With a focus on inclusivity, the event provided a memorable experience that fostered unity and understanding among all participants. Let’s take a look back at the details and diverse activities that made this event truly remarkable. A Day for All: Civic Park in downtown Hanford served as the vibrant venue for the Run Walk & Roll 5K and Autism Awareness Fair. The event was a collaborative effort between UCPCC, the Hanford Police Department, Sensory Rock, and UCP Parent and Me, who were dedicated to creating an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Registration for the event began at 8 a.m. on the day of the race near the Civic Auditorium. The race kicked off at 9 a.m., filling the air with excitement and anticipation. Participants had the opportunity to pick up information packets and pre-registration forms on Friday, March 31, from 5-7 p.m. at UCP Parent and Me, located at 606 W. 6th Street in Hanford. Pre-registration was available until March 31 at a cost of $30 per person. Additionally, children under 11 were able to participate in the 1-mile walk free of charge. Participants also had the option to purchase event t-shirts and badges. Runners eagerly vied for prizes in both the 5K run and 1-mile walk categories.

Supporting UCP Parent and Me Programs: UCPCC, an organization that provides programs for over 1,000 individuals with various disabilities, aimed to utilize the proceeds from the event to further support their UCP Parent and Me Programs in Hanford. These programs catered to children and adults with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injuries, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. By participating in the Run Walk & Roll 5K and Autism Awareness Fair, attendees directly contributed to the ongoing support and enrichment of these vital programs.

A highlight of the event was the free Autism Awareness Resource Fair, which commenced at 10 a.m. and concluded at 2 p.m. This fair stood as the largest autism awareness and special needs resource fair in Central California. It was established due to the significant number of families in the area who have children and adults with special needs. Wayne Picard, the director of development and marketing for UCPCC, emphasized that the fair aimed to provide information and support from a diverse array of organizations dedicated to assisting people with disabilities.

The event surpassed expectations, with over 100 participants in attendance. In addition to the races and resource fair, attendees enjoyed a variety of engaging activities throughout the day. Local vendors offered a wide selection of delicious food and beverages, satisfying everyone’s cravings. Exciting attractions included the West Coast’s largest rocking horse, appearances by NASCAR drivers and race cars, and special presentations by the S.W.A.T Team. These experiences were thoughtfully curated to provide enjoyment and entertainment for individuals of all ages and abilities.

The Run Walk & Roll 5K and Autism Awareness Fair, organized by UCPCC in Hanford on April 1, 2023, was a resounding success and a celebration of inclusion, support, and community spirit. Participants raised awareness about disabilities and contributed to the advancement of UCP Parent and Me Programs. Whether running, walking, or engaging with the various activities, attendees left a lasting impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. The event showcased the power of unity, diversity, and understanding. The Hanford community came together for an extraordinary day that embraced inclusivity and fostered a sense of belonging.

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