By Laura Chapman
Juniata Assistant Sports Information Director
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Juniata College women's soccer rising senior Shayna King (Easton, Pa. / Easton Area) is taking the time during a demanding internship with State Street, a financial services holding company in Boston, Massachusetts, to volunteer with the 14th Annual Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks kick off event later this month.
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Walk Now for Autism Speaks is the signature fundraising and awareness event for the organization with nearly 100 walks annually across North America.
"I was interested in helping with this event because autism is something we still know so little about," said King. "I think it's wonderful that Autism Speaks offers so much support to families and they generate a lot of initiatives as far as support from communities and companies go."
King has previously volunteered with Special Olympics and the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs and will be working the Autism Speaks Kick Off Reception Thursday, July 31, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where organizers anticipate over 400 guests in attendance.
"The event's goal is to promote participation in the Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks," said King. "We'll be helping out with administrative things; fundraising collection, the silent auction, merchandise sales, and such. Their fundraising efforts have helped make a lot of research possible."
The reception will include a speaker program, resource and sponsor tables, an opportunity to network with parents of autistic children and other autistic individuals, and a silent auction to for the greater Boston walk in October. The kick off event is the main way Autism Speaks engages with community businesses, and promotes upcoming events. On October 19, organizers, volunteers, and walkers will gather at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts for the regions' 14th annual walk.
"Autism Speaks is definitely an organization I would want to work with more in the future," added King. "I'll be on the lookout for more events near Juniata or my hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania. If nothing else, it will definitely be an organization that I'll look to volunteer with a lot wherever I am when I'm in the working world a year from now."
For more information about Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the Autism Speaks foundation, click here.