LeBourdais Park goes blue for autism awareness

Dozens of people turned out to show their support at the autism awareness gathering and party in LeBourdais Park on Sunday, April 14.

The blue-clad crowd was full of children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as parents, siblings, and friends, trying to show their support and raise awareness for autism.

The event was organized by the Quesnel Community Autism Committee, and it featured a beat-boxing session, a group dance, a short march, cake and fireworks.

Lynn Mathiesen is the executive director of the Child Development Centre and a member of the Quesnel Community Autism Committee. She says those working at the centre are often the first to meet families who eventually come to learn that they are living with autism.

READ MORE: True blue: Quesnel celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

“I think it’s important for the community to come together to bring awareness of the fact that autism spectrum disorders have become a very prevalent reality in our communities,” says Mathiesen. “And that we have many, many amazing families and amazing kids, and we just need to celebrate everybody.”

Toys and activities were set up around the park, and kids came up to the front of the crowd to give their “news and kudos” to the group.

One girl spoke about a trip to the States, while another said they love fireworks. Others said they loved everyone there, and they thanked people for coming out and celebrating autism.

There was also a bubble machine blowing bubbles on the crowd, and a local face-painter set up shop to paint kids’ faces for free.


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A child has his face painted by Shaina McCrae at the rally and party for autism awareness at LeBourdais Park on Sunday, April 14.
Children and adults alike enjoyed the event, which featured a bubble maker, toys, cupcakes, cake and fireworks at the end of the night.
A child has her face painted by Naomi Manning. Heather Norman photo
An autism assistance dog lays in the grass during the raly at LeBourdais Park. Heather Norman photo
Participants in the Autism Awareness Rally in LeBourdais Park on Sunday, April 14 take part in a spontaneous group dance, showing off all their best moves. April is Autism Awareness Month. Heather Norman photos

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