Walk on Wheels Car Parade raises nearly $11,000

September 30, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

The Walk on Wheels car parade rolled through Orangeville on Sunday (Sept. 26) raising nearly $11,000 for Autism Speaks Canada.

Over 40 vehicles participated and event organizer, Patti Thomas, who’s the mother of this year’s local Autism Speaks ambassador Emma Thomas, said she was thrilled with the turnout.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she said. “Every year keeps getting better and better.”

Team Emma, which was made up of Emma Thomas’s family and friends, was able to generate $2,670 for the car parade.

“With Emma being the ambassador this year, we have had so much support from the community. Emma was given the opportunity to use her voice not only in our local community but across Canada with Autism Speaks Canada using her story for Autism Awareness month,” said Thomas.

She added that her daughter’s experience as ambassador has been very rewarding.

“Emma had an amazing experience as the ambassador, she was able to meet a lot of new faces and was able to use her voice to show awareness for the Neuro-diverse community,” said Thomas.

Emma will continue in her role as the local Autism Speaks ambassador until February of next year, as each ambassador serves a one-year term.

Qwest Riders RC, which is a not-for-profit motorcycle riding club that supports various charities, had a group of members in attendance and Emma thoroughly enjoyed sitting on one of their bikes and having her picture taken.

“Emma has sensory differences at times and she was scared of the sound prior, but she has worked so hard to overcome this and was super excited to sit on the motorcycles. Morgan the owner of the motorcycle made Emma’s experience very welcoming,” recalled Thomas.

Thomas said she’d encourage people to donate to Autism Speaks Canada, noting that every donation counts.

“It’s not only to help support the autism community but also to the families that are struggling for resources. Go to – Orangeville and make a general donation,” she told the Citizen.

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