Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Just a Lil Walk III: Rise of the Lily

It's that time of year once more.  I'm inviting friends and family to participate in Highmark's, "Walk for a Healthy Community" with us again this year. "Just a Lil Team" will once again be marching for Autism Connection of PA (aka ABOARD).  The beauty of the walk is that 100% of the donations go to the charity. 

Three years ago around September, when this blog was newer and greener, I broadcast a plea for help to the autism community at large and asked this question, "To whom should I donate my money if I want it to benefit autistic people and their families and caregivers?" That post is >>HERE<<. If you're getting this message via snail mail, you can't click the >>HERE<<, so stop trying, you're just tearing the paper.  If you're getting this message and can click, but refuse, I'll summarize it:  

Anyone who was autistic said, "Don't give money to Autism Speaks".  There were a lot of reasons, and most of them were good.  The consensus was, "give to someone who can help autistic people locally, or give to food banks or shelters", because the sad fact of life is that many autistic people not receiving supports or services are the people in the homeless shelters and benefiting from the food banks.  I'm paraphrasing the masses (it was not a particularly well-commented blog post of mine, but linking from post to post by others who had covered the topic, that was the message I got).  One local autistic adult mentioned ABOARD.  They had helped her personally.  I had attended a couple workshops they had put together with my wife, and had previously donated to them.  They're the folks who put together the Autism Friendly Santa Visit at the mall, (they did one for the Easter Bunny too, but we didn't go).

Since then we've gone to many of their sponsored events:

  • days at an indoor playground
  • Santa
  • Trips to see the Pirates play
  • Nutcracker Ballet
  • Lion King
  • Art March
  • Gala
  • Symposium (in the Spring)
  • Grandparent seminars

And these are just the things our family has attended.  They've become our personal pet Autism Charity.  We're forming a team again this year, "Just a Lil Team", and using Lily as our rallying point.  This is a cause that's important to her, or will be some day when she's able to take it up herself.

We'd love for you to join our team and walk with us on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Stage AE on the North Shore in Pittsburgh, PA.  (Registration is at 7:45 a.m., walks start at 9:00 and 9:15 a.m. if last year is any indication). OR...OR...you can sign up as a virtual walker.  You don't have to be WITH us...to be with us.  If that makes sense.

The Highmark page is different this year, so I don't have it linked like I did in the past.  Right now all I have is a URL, which is
Team Page URL:  http://hcf.convio.net/site/TR/Pittsburgh/General?team_id=1918&pg=team&fr_id=1110. If you click that it should take you to the page.  I'll also link the event to the Just a Lil Blog Facebook page. I'm looking for sponsors (essentially if I can get someone to sponsor the team, I can get shirts for the participants, provided I have a head count two weeks before the walk) and I've set a goal of $2,500.  I feel bad about setting the same target as last year, but we're getting a late start and I don't want to freak out if I can't hit the goal.  Regardless I hope we beat it.

Lily and Emma and Leslie and I will be down by the stadium at Stage AE on May 17th to walk. Whether we raise the $50 or $2500 or $10,000, we'll be there, and we'll have fun. And we'd love it if you could join us, or if you can't, if you could donate to the cause.

We have about a month to put together what we can sponsor/donation/team-wise so that I can get tshirts made for participants and make sure we get them in time for the walk. (last year we did it five weeks in advance).  This still leaves us a couple weeks to get donations, but after about the first week of May, we won't be able to change the tshirt orders.

Just a Lil Walk Team (Jim, Leslie, Emma and Lily. . . so far)

Last year's shirt.  This year will be different.
We need sponsors for team t-shirts (last year that ended up being right around $600 for 50+  shirts.  I'm considering adding the autism/bacon/tragedy meme to the back of the shirt since that seems so popular, and leaving the front as currently designed.  The shirts will not be blue (as they were the first year we did it) or purple (the second year).  I know they will NOT be black (the tshirt guy says he has to double on the white paint to make it show up right on black.  Maybe gray...Not sure...entertaining options.



  1. Wow has it been a year already! I think you should get people to sponsor you and then walk in their hometown on the same day that you're walking in Pittsburgh. Or on their treadmill. Or on the spot.

    1. if only I had a time machine

    2. No the people should walk on the same day, not that you should go to their hometowns and walk. I didn't word that very well. Words are hard. So tired.

    3. oh...that's what a "virtual walker" is, Bec. They sign up to "be there" in spirit. You know, if you were up to it, you could sign up and walk in the second most remote city in the world...

  2. Pink. Or salmon. Good colours. If the bacon meme is included, I will take 4.

    1. i'm thinking grey or navy...

    2. as of right now, the bacon meme IS included. And it's navy.