Statistics show that 1 in 110 children will be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. With funding cuts at the federal and state level, Illinois ranks worst in the nation for serving individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism.
Enter fundraisers like the Rally for Autism 5K event, held at in Libertyville. These events are vital in their financial support of families affected by the disorder and in the research to find a cure, organizers said. Nearly 600 people signed up to walk or run the 5K on Aug. 13 at Independence Grove.
For the third year, the Grayslake soccer team participated in the 5K (3.1 miles) event and took home five of the six awards its members were eligible for in the 14 and under and 15-19 categories.
Isaac Longenecker took first in the 14U division, Jackson Frey took second and John Knight took home the third-place award. In the 15-19 bracket, Asa Goldsmith took second with a time of 19:17 and Phil Longenecker took third with a time of 19:23. Steven Anderson just missed the award level, finishing in 19:23.
Claire Haggerty, 16, of Grayslake, was the overall female winner as well as the 15-19 age group winner with a time of 20:52. She received a huge cheer from the large Grayslake contingent present at the event.
Carolyn Moore, of Grayslake, took first in the women’s 45-49 age group with a time of 21:54. Jay Myers, freshmen soccer coach at , took third place in the men’s 45-49 division with a time of 20:47. Jenny Truskowski of Grayslake took third place in the women’s 40-44 division with a time of 25:57.
Jessica Reblin, cheerleading coach and algebra teacher at , took first place in the women’s 25-29 age division with a time of 22:00. She was there with 27 members of the cheerleading team from Grayslake Central.
"It was a great day and the girls had a great time for a great cause," Reblin said.
Mike McCaulou, head varsity coach at , said, "This was a great opportunity for the kids to go out and give back to the community. It was something out of the ordinary and got them to think about someone other than themselves for a day. It’s a great team-bonding experience and involves the kids in service to the community."