For the last four years, a group of people have been rising early on a chilly Saturday morning in January to run together. But it’s not just any old fun run— they’re gathering for Brandon’s Run for Autism, a 5K organized by Brandon, a graduate of New Directions for Young Adults who wanted to share his passion for road running with his community.
Brandon’s Run was initially a way for Brandon to develop his own self-discipline and other skills that could assist him as he searched for a job. So many young people find it challenging to find the motivation and engagement necessary to be successful in the workforce; Brandon’s love of running was used as a motivator to encourage him to expand his organizational skills. With help from NDFYA and his friends at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runners Club (GFLRRC), a new 5K benefiting autism was born.
Benefits of Brandon’s Run
In addition to giving Brandon the confidence and the experience that led to paying jobs, Brandon’s Run for Autism benefits other young adults with autism. The money raised by the 5K will provide group services, vocational coaching, weekly stipends, and internships for ten students. Additionally, students at NDFYA have the opportunity to volunteer their time and talents to help organize the run and keep everything moving smoothly on the actual day of the run. This experience offers them the same benefits that Brandon has enjoyed for the last four years.
Every year, Brandon’s Run for Autism grows bigger. There are more participants, of course, but there are also more sponsors. In addition to increasing the amount of money raised for the young people chosen to benefit from the services that the 5K will sponsor, the wider audience also means that more people will get a first-hand experience with autism. Brandon and his friends show the community the true face of autism— specifically, that autism doesn’t stop them from fulfilling their dreams and the dreams of others.
Join in the Fun
The 5th Annual Brandon’s Run for Autism will be held from 7am-10am in Quiet Waters Park on January 20, 2018. Brandon’s love of running and philanthropy is undiminished after four years of organizing the 5K in his name. In fact, this year’s Brandon’s Run for Autism is bigger and better than ever! It’s Brandon’s goal to offer as many young people as possible the career readiness, social skills training, job training, and community involvement they need to succeed. There are a variety of ways to be involved in the 5K this year. We’re looking for runners, walkers, sponsors, and donations for our raffle. To purchase a ticket to participate in the run, click here.
If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, you can click here to sign up. There are four levels of paid sponsorship (Platinum— $5000, Gold— $2500, Silver— $1000, and Bronze— $500) as well as in-kind sponsorship opportunities, including water sponsor, food table sponsor, and raffle item sponsor. Questions? Contact International Society for Autism Executive Director Erica Rubin at (305) 305-0540 for additional information.