Walk for Autism – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Original report by: Danielle Volkar, Echo Base
Though there was a chance of rain in the forecast, the skies remained sunny and clear. A perfect day for a perfect troop between the Mandolorian Mercs and the Rebel Legion. To troop at Heinz Field for the Autism walk was a double treat. This was again another first for Echo Base to attend.
Jason Vey, Jim Burns, Joshua Murphy, David Volkar, Ryan Murphy and I stood tall to represent the Echo Base. After suiting up, we exited the Fed Ex Great Hall and immediately were greeted by parents, children and whole Autism Teams. Smiles, hand shakes, hugs, cheers and happiness carpeted our journey this day.
We had the chance to meet and speak with a lot of organizations regarding autism and providing them with information on the Rebel Legion for their events. One of the groups had a touch sensory section that contained bowls filled with various items such as, feathers, cotton balls, sand, water, beads in water etc… The children really enjoyed it.
My personal favorite moment happened when we approached a young boy, his parents were excited to see us however he was not. His father said, “look Billy, Jedi”, to which Billy replied, “No, I hate you all. I hate you all”. My only response to him was, “Yes, Anakin, we know”. And we continued moving into the crowd.
Entertainers from near and far joined this event, from the Eat N Park Cookie to the Nittany Lion. According to the Post Gazette, attendance for the walk was roughly 12,000 people and the amount raised was over $700,000. Bravo Pittsburgh!!!
[Editors note – there are rumors of a video of our member’s line dancing, as soon as that is discovered it will be added here!]
The Staff thanked us very much for participating and commented on how much they loved seeing us and how the children were so very excited and happy to see us. At one point it became very hot and we had to take a 30 minute break to cool down, and were told that we had little ones waiting to see us, so back out we went, with smiles.
I would personally like to thank Ryan Murphy for being such a wonderful person and for going above and beyond on this day. He became slightly ill with the heat and recovered to continue trooping with us and taking photos with dozens of cameras which seemed to materialize out of thin air. Ryan, it is because of people like you who are tireless in their efforts that keep people like me going.
I do believe you should receive the SQUIRE of THE YEAR award for all of your hard work for all of our past and present troops. Thank you very much.