MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - Thousands of people walked through Manchester in the name of Autism Friday night.
The Clay County Autism Awareness Walk began at the Manchester EKU campus and briefly shut down downtown.
Ethan Bowman is 5 years old, and blue is his favorite color. Ethan also has Autism. His parents, Jessalynn and Kevin Bowman say the past few years have not been easy.
“I was in denial at first he's just a little behind, but as the signs became more and more obvious I learned to accept it,” Jessalynn says.
The Bowman family is just one of the many families in Clay County affected by autism. So three years ago they began the Clay County Autism Awareness Walk.
The 1.1 mile walk ended at the Rawlings/Stinson Park, where there was a little food and of course some fun for the kids.
“If you would have asked me three years ago if I thought this was possible, I would have said no way. But it's just been absolutely amazing and it's growing every year,” says Jessalynn.
Nearly 1,300 people walked in this year's fundraiser. The Bowman family says they just want to help those who are going through the same thing.
“We just want to reach as many people as we can to raise awareness,” says Kevin, “Help people understand what autism is and get it diagnosed and get the help that they need.”
All proceeds will go to benefit those affected by autism throughout the county.
This is the third autism awareness walk in Clay County, and organizers expect to have an even bigger crowd next year.