Walking For Autism 2009: 60 Joined

Walking for autism

Some 60 people joined together to cover 83 miles of walking between East Islip and Montauk in the name of helping autistic children last
weekend. The EJ Autism Foundation’s Reel-Aid for Autism walk included groups of varying sizes, sometimes as few as two, walking east along Montauk Highway over Saturday and Sunday. Participants covered 52 legs of the journey, each between 1 and 4 miles, and the walk ended at the Montauk Lighthouse. Each walker sacrificed his or her time and energy and donated $30 to the EJ Autism Foundation, which later dispersed the money to various causes in the towns along the way. “For its maiden voyage, it was a tremendous success, a big accomplishment,” EJ Autism Foundation founder Beatrice Huste said. Huste was grateful and proud that she was able get permission from all the towns and support from the various police departments, which escorted them on the more dangerous stretches of road. “I wanted to come up with something that reached out to many people,” Huste said, explaining that the walk got people out and exercising, but it was broken up into short legs so anyone could participate. Each stop coincided with a school district and participants could walk from one district to another. The foundation encouraged people to walk as long and as often as they chose and asked only that they cover at least one leg of the trip. Huste said walkers received a T-shirt and water bottle for their donations and the money was given to Masera Learning Center in East Islip, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches, Long Island Communities of Practice in Southampton and the Child Development of the Hamptons charter school in East Hampton. “The money stays here, not a lab,” she said.
Huste started the foundation four years ago, just two years after her second autistic son was born. Huste has four children and her autism foundation is named after her boys with the disorder. Eric is now 6 years old and her son Jack is 8.

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