Passion Project #ThisisAutsim | #WalkForAutism
Who: Any Baby Can of San Antonio
What: 15th Annual Superhero 5K & Autism Walk
When: April 2019
Where: Helotes Cornyval Grounds & O'Conner H.S.
When Any Baby Can of San Antonio reached out to us to cover their walk for autism, I couldn't help but feel we'd come full circle. Josh and I first connected with them a year ago at this very fundraiser, and it has been our privilege to continue providing #PhotographySponsorship for several of their subsequent events. We couldn't be more honoured to have been welcomed back to photograph their 15th Annual Superhero 5K & Autism Walk.
#AnyBabyCan is a San Antonio based organization with offices in New Braunfels and Kerrville. Their mission is to serve families with children and youth facing serious health or developmental challenges at no cost – regardless of income – to families. Any Baby Can’s fundraiser is a proud Official Fiesta® San Antonio Event that helps support the many programs offered to families facing autism.
The walk to raise funds and awareness for autism programs and services in the community began as the vision of three moms: Frances, Alisa, and Liz. They approached ABC's president Hugo Hernandez fifteen years ago with an idea and the Superhero 5K and Walk for Autism was formed.
What started with 250 people and one resource table in 2005, has grown to over 6,000 in numbers with over 100 community resources, businesses, organizations, and vendors providing info, giveaways, and activities to families.
While it was an early morning for us (arriving at the park grounds around 6:30am), dedicated volunteers and staff had already been hard at work a full hour before we arrived. For anyone who has not been, all I can say is this is a huge undertaking. The love and passion that goes into it are apparent in the sacrifice of hours and labour joyously donated by many.
The park opened to the public at 7am for a two-part program starting with the Superhero 5K at O'Connor High School. Participants are encouraged to dress the part. After doing several #PassionProjects events like these, I have to be honest, I love a good superhero walk/run. I like the community unity evident when everyone embodies their inner hero.
A quick shout out to the awesome event organizers who provided us with comprehensive maps and a detailed run-of-show. I can not express enough how beneficial it is for successful #EventPhotography to have the rundown of events and locations. Being well informed helps us plan photography assignments, coordinate activity coverage, and jump from one key element to the next for a full documentary experience.
After the race, everyone headed back across the street to the main stage at the Helotes Cornyval Grounds. Teams and crowds gathered for the presentation of the Puzzle Award; given each year to recognize a community member who has done amazing work in the lives of individuals with autism. This year's recipients were the Barrera family, who began an initiative nine years ago as a way to give back to the Any Baby Can's Autism Programs.
One of my favourite parts is the walk take-off led by the Autism Heroes Motorcycle Club. All the motorcycles, on the shout of the crowds, start their engines emitting a roar which can easily be heard across the more than 40-acre lot. With excitement in the air, everyone starts walking.
Any Baby Can’s Annual Walk for Autism and Superhero 5k is always an event for the entire family. Throughout the day, families can enjoy a resource fair, food trucks, live entertainment, activities, and more! This large event continues to help fund programs such as:
health & wellness education.
Here are a few of my favourite images from their event:
Check out the full gallery here.
Are you a parent or family member of a child with special needs? Learn more at AnyBabyCanSA.org.
Looking for ways to get involved with Any Baby Can?