WHAT: San Ysidro School District’s Smythe Elementary students are coordinating their Sixth Annual “Walk 4 Autism,” a fundraiser originally inspired by two of their former classmates with autism who have since moved with their family to another area of San Diego. The event is designed to increase awareness and direct families with autistic children to local support networks that provide education, diagnostics and treatment.

An annual tradition at Smythe, the “Walk 4 Autism” was created in 2011 through the efforts of Araceli Gomez, a former Smythe parent who has two children with autism and is still involved with the coordination of the event. Gomez saw the need for parents to have ready access to information and resources concerning autism, as well as other childhood disabilities. Smythe Elementary School students help organize and support the event by developing a logo, posters and a souvenir t-shirt, which will be available for a $10 donation. Students will also be present to cheer on the walkers and issue raffle tickets to participants.

Food, drinks, games and resource information will be provided by local community organizations. A portion of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks, which funds global bioresearch into causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. All other donations will go directly to support students with autism in the San Ysidro School District.

The event is open to the public.

For more information, please contact Lilly Esparza at (619) 428-4476, ext. 3518

WHEN: 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 20

WHERE: Smythe Elementary School, 1880 Smythe Avenue, San Ysidro, CA 92173