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5K raises funds, celebrates Best Buddies

By Nenad Tadic | Emory Report | April 10, 2013

April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Best Buddies chapter at Emory is sponsoring a 5K run/walk to raise awareness and to support those with autism as well as other developmental disabilities.  

The 5K will take place on campus Sunday, April 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Asbury Circle.

Pre-registration is open and is $10 per person. Race-day registration is $15. Check-in starts at 8 a.m.

Food and drinks will be served post-race. Participants receive a T-shirt and the top finishers will receive an award.  

Proceeds from the event benefit Emory Best Buddies.  

Founded in 1989, Best Buddies is an international nonprofit organization that aims to provide friendship networks for individuals with disabilities. The Emory chapter works with young adults at the Emory Autism Center, according to Lisa Fulchino, president of Emory's chapter and Emory College senior.  

The Emory chapter holds meetings once a month, and in the meantime, members meet with their "buddies" to hang out.  

"The individuals we work with have so much to offer, but because of their differences it can be harder to make meaningful social relationships," says Fulchino.  

The Best Buddies chapter at Emory has about 20 members, and "we're always looking for more," says Fulchino.  

The main goals of the nonprofit are education and inclusion, Fulchino says, and "we thought sharing our mission through an event available to the entire student body would help the cause."  

"We hope people stick around [after the race] to learn a little more about our program," she adds.