KELOWNA, British Columbia, Sept. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the prevalence of autism diagnoses increases 30% in 2 years, Autism Speaks Canada is launching the inaugural Central Okanagan Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada on September 21 at Waterfront Park, Kelowna. The fundraising goal for this first event is $50,000 and all the proceeds from the event support the local and national work of Autism Speaks Canada, which together with Autism Speaks in the U.S.A., is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in 68 children, making it the fastest-growing developmental disorder in North America, Europe, and Asia. Walk Now events raise over $1.4 million annually and involve over 11,000 participants and volunteers across Canada. In addition to Autism Speaks Canada's national efforts, the organization has provided funding to many local service providers across B.C. including grants to ACT - Autism Community Training, Capilano University Disability Services, Children's Treatment Network of Simcoe York, PALS Autism School and Search & Rescue Society of B.C. and funded the work being done by Dr. James Tanaka at University of Victoria. The Central Okanagan Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, locally sponsored by Capital News, Global Okanagan, Sun FM, ezrock 101.5, AM 1150, Pro Organics, Nestle Waters, McDonalds, Sun Rype, Telus, Panago, Kelowna Rock School, David's Tea, Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Centre and The Real Canadian Superstore is a fun, family-friendly event that includes a 3 km walk, Fun Zone with inflatables, performers, face painting and more. The event will also host a community Resource Fair featuring autism-related service providers, educational sources, therapists, and recreational organizations – a true "one-stop-shop" for families affected by autism. "Thanks to the support of the ASD community and work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada event looks forward to a long relationship in the Okanagan Valley," said Janet Anderson, Autism Speaks Canada's Regional Walk Manager, for British Columbia.
National Presenting Sponsor Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us will host a tented area at The Walk, serving as home base for the company's mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. For more information about the 2014 Edmonton Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca. or call 1-888-362-6227.
Source: Autism Speaks Canada