Campus hosts second annual Autism Run

By Jake Thielen

The second annual Run for Autism will be held on Sunday, May 16 on Oakland University’s campus.

“The goal is to raise awareness of autism and raise funds for OUCARES and Homes for Autism,” Val Yaros, the Program Coordinator and Interim Director of OUCARES, said. Homes for Autism, a Birmingham-based organization, provides independent living for individuals affected by autism.

Last year’s Run had over 700 participants, and Yaros is hoping for a similar turnout this year.

“We hope to have the same crowd as last year,” Yaros said. “We’re still taking registrations and looking for volunteers.”

The event will feature a 5k Fun Walk/Run and a certified 10k Run. The cost of registration is $25 for adults and $15 for students. Registration is free for children seven and under. The price will increase by $5 for those registering on the day of the event.

The Fun Walk/Run is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. with the 10-K run following at 9:45 a.m. Check-in will begin at the Oakland Center at 8 a.m.

Development project manager Avni Dalal said that prizes will be given to the first three finishers in each age category, as well as for the person who raised the most pledges and the person with the largest team.

Dalal said people who cannot make it to the event can still contribute.

“You can donate without running; just visit the website,” Dalal said.

To register or make donations, visit the Run for Autism website at or the OUCARES website at

In addition to the Run for Autism, OUCARES is also looking to spread autism awareness by hosting the second Autism Symposium: Quality of Life. The event will be held on May 16 and May 17 at the Detroit Marriott Pontiac at Centerpoint, which is located in Pontiac.

“The Quality of Life Symposium is for all people with autism, families and educators,” Yaros said. “There will be medical, educational and behavioral interventions and support.”

The Symposium will feature presentations from autism experts Dr. Luke Tsai, Dr. Gary Mesibov and Dr. Richard Simpson, as well as question and answer sessions.

The first session is scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 16. The second session is scheduled for May 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration for the event is $100. Food and refreshments will be provided.

To register for the event, or for more information, visit the OUCARES website at