April 2nd was  Autism Awareness Day... It's why I wore blue that day. This month is National Autism Awareness Month, and on April 29th, the  Annual Sea of Blue Autism Walk and 5K will take place in Northeast Harbor.

Photo Chris Popper
Photo Chris Popper

Christopher Heel began the Sea of Blue Autism Walk for his senior exhibition project at MDI High School to help raise autism awareness in the Downeast  community. It has now turned into an annual event, drawing participants from all over eastern Maine.

2014’s walk raised over $3000.00 for the Autism Society of Maine. In 2015, Christopher, who is an avid runner, decided to add a 5k run to the event and with the help of a growing list of sponsors and a great turnout raised over $6000.00 for the Autism Society of Maine. As a result, Christopher, who himself has autism, was recognized with an award at the Autism Society’s annual meeting that year. The event in 2016 saw an even larger turnout with a total of 7500.00 being donated to local agencies.

This year's efforts have gotten off to a great start thanks to a $1000 donation by the Mount Desert Police Association

The 2023 Walk Run begins at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. Registration on Saturday, April 29th begins at 8 a.m. but you can preregister by filling out the form HERE. You can pay and register online or make donations by going to the Sea of Blue Autism Website. The 2 Mile Walk begins at 9:30 and the 5K Race and Dog Run starts at 10 a.m. . Entrance fee for the Walk is $10 and $20 for the 5k Race and Dog Run. This is a rain or shine event.

Registration forms may also be picked up at A Slice of Eden in Bar Harbor, at the YMCAs in Ellsworth and in Bar Harbor and at the Harbor House in Southwest Harbor.

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