The Puzzle Run 5k: Raising Awareness and Support for the One in 68


Submitted by: Lindsay Knopf, BCBA

On Saturday, April 16th 2016, Reaching Milestones, along with Georgia Game Changers, and Galbreath & Sons, Inc. hosted the 2nd Annual Puzzle Run 5K at J.F. Gregory Park, across the street from our clinic in Richmond Hill, GA. Being that April is Autism Awareness Month, this was a great event to attend in an effort to spread support for Autism Awareness. In addition to the timed race, the Puzzle Run also had bounce houses, face painting, and many vendors – including a snow cone truck! The event attracted over 500 individuals and families who came out wearing blue to support the 1 in 68 children that are affected by autism. The event hosted more than 260 registered runners.

In addition to raising awareness to autism, The Puzzle Run 5k also raises funds for the Global Autism Project. The Global Autism Project is a non-profit organization that builds resources in our country as well as supports missions across the globe including third world countries for families and individuals affected by autism. Jamie Cole, who was in charge of planning and executing this event as well as Melanie Shank, the clinical director of the Richmond Hill clinic appeared on the local news to promote the event, applied behavior analysis, and of course, autism awareness.

The event was highly successful this year. The Puzzle Run was able to raise over $11,000 in sponsorships, race registrations, and donations. After all costs had been paid, Reaching Milestones was able to donate a check for almost $8,000 to the Global Autism Project. This is eight times more than was raised the previous year, which is especially huge considering that this was only the event’s 2nd year in existence. The clients and families of Reaching Milestones as well as the staff had a great time at the event. Pictures can be seen on the Reaching Milestones Facebook page. We will look forward to an even bigger Puzzle Run 5k next April!