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Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosts Autism Speaks Walk for second year in a row

Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosts Autism Speaks Walk for second year in a row - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

A group of volunteers and health service providers pose for a photo during last year's Autism Speaks Walk held at Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Oct. 8, 2022. The autism awareness and fundraiser event will return to TAMUSA on Oct. 7. Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks

Students, faculty and staff can help raise awareness about autism at the Autism Speaks Walk from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 7. at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 

The event, held here for the second year in a row, will be in the courtyard between the Science and Technology Building and the Madla Building.

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005. The Autism Speaks walk is held annually in all major cities and is the largest fundraising event of the year. Eighty-nine percent of all proceeds will go toward programs and services that benefit people with autism and their families.

We chose A&M because, well, I’m an Aggie. The courtyard was awesome last year and it’s a fantastic venue. I saw no reason to change locations,” Said Hunter Heidtke, Autism Speaks manager of field development for central Texas and the Gulf Coast.

According to Heidtke, putting together these events is about more than just fundraising. 

These walks give us a chance to be face-to-face with our community. It’s a chance to provide an accepting space for people with autism and show others that being autistic isn’t meant to be a category to divide us. They’re just like everyone else, and we’re all just a little different.”

Registration for the event will open at 9 a.m. and the walk is scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. after the opening ceremony.

Participants are encouraged to sign up ahead of time online but will have the opportunity to sign up in person at the event.

I try to do the walk every year. I’ve always been a supporter of these events,” said Cody Beitel, a longtime volunteer, “but now that I have someone in my life that’s autistic, it makes me want to be more involved in the community than before.”

The walk will be about a mile down Jaguar Parkway. Autism Speaks will also have other activities including a kid’s zone, face painting, temporary tattoos and more.

“We even have a bubble man coming to the event this year,” said Heidtke. “I don’t know exactly what that means but he’s very excited and so am I.”

Event coordinators are also still looking to assist with setup and cleanup. Anyone who would like to volunteer can sign up here or on the Autism Speaks website.

For more information about Autism Speaks and events, visit or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @autismspeaks.

About the Author

Katelyn Kotchey
Katelyn Kotchey is a communication sophomore at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from West Hills Community College in California. In addition to being a full-time student, she also works at Knight Watch Games. In her free time, she enjoys painting, photography and playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in photojournalism or publishing.

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