Stepping out for a cause

Published 3:01 pm Sunday, April 10, 2016

If you haven’t participated in one, I am sure you have heard about them.

Charity runs and walks are quite a trend, and they are getting more and more creative.  I was convinced to do a 5K mud run last year that resulted in three weeks of poison ivy discomfort, and I don’t even know what charity benefited from the event. It was an opportunity for me to connect with some high school friends in a unique way. I probably won’t do that particular run again, but I will be participating in the fifth annual Stepping Out for Autism Walk on Saturday, April 23 at the Hormel Historic Home, and you are invited to join me.

HHHHistory lesson for the day as told by an online blogger online at

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“There was a time when running a marathon for charity was a novel idea, but as the popularity of running and walking has grown, they have become an increasingly important part of the nonprofit fundraising landscape. And just as training methods for runners have changed, the area of run/walk fundraising has also evolved.

1969 Church World Service organizes the CROP Hunger Walk in Bismarck, North Dakota, considered one of the first walks for charity in the U.S.

1970 The March for Babies (originally called WalkAmerica) by March of Dimes is the first nationwide walking fundraiser, raising $75,000.

1988 The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society launches their Team in Training program, which sends runners to major races in exchange for meeting a fundraising goal.

Myrtle Street Public School raises $127 in its first walk-a-thon.

2012 According to the Running USA State of the Sport Report, America hits an all-time high of 26,370 running events in 2012. That’s 72 events PER DAY.  Running USA estimates that road races bring in $1.2 billion dollars in fundraising for nonprofits in 2012.”

In the four years of the Stepping Out for Autism Walk, we have raised over $33,000 to support the Autism Programming at the HHH.  Though generously funded by the United Way of Mower County and the Hormel Foundation, our programming still needs your support.

Nearly 90 children have participated in the Summer Camps and over 30 families have taken advantage of our monthly ASD Respite nights.  You certainly don’t have to look hard to find information about Autism or to find someone who is connected to someone on the spectrum. The need for services continues to grow, and because of your support, the rural town of Austin, Minnesota, offers activities that are not common outside of metro regions.

Whether you find enjoyment in walking, running or biking in a charity walk, know that the people who are participating are making a difference for whatever cause they are supporting. The funds are important, but the spirit of coming together for a cause that affects so many has an impact that goes beyond the money.

For more information on how you can participate in or support the ASD programming at the HHH please call Holly at 507-433-4243.

 PACER Presentation

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, free

PACER presentation about creating an appropriate Individualized Education Plan for your child.

 Stepping Out for Autism Walk

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Special appearance by the Teddy Bear Band at 11:45 a.m. Register at the HHH or at