When T.J. Burke moved from his hometown of Hermitage to Pittsburgh in 2011, he started searching for a way to get involved with his new community.
“I really wanted to build a connection to the area,” he said.
Drawing on his past experience as a wraparound facilitator working with children and adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome, Burke came up with the idea of a 5K to benefit the Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders.
Better known as ABOARD, the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit provides support to those with autism and their families living in Pennsylvania.
During the first event last year, the run, which Burke decided to call the Autism Frostbite 5K because it took place in January, attracted more than 300 runners to North Park.
“Together, we were able to donate over $7,000,” Burke said.
This year, they’re doing it all over again.
The 2013 Autism Frostbite 5K takes place Saturday, Jan. 26 at the North Park Boathouse and Rose Barn in Allison Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race kicks off at 10 a.m.
There also will be a 1-mile Kids Fun Run at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony, and pizza, will follow the run.
Burke, a police officer in Sharpsburg who also works for State Security and Investigation Services, said positive rap artist Jay Mel will perform at the event. There also will be a deejay playing music, food and a raffle.
The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, which also donated a pair of boxing gloves signed by the welterweight champion to last year’s event, is one of this year’s 5K sponsors, Burke said.
“I thought that was pretty awesome,” the boxing fan said.
Burke, who formed his own promotional group, Positive Movementz, to sponsor uplifting events throughout the area, including the Officers Down 5K to honor fallen police officers, said he’s hoping to attract 500 people to this year’s Frostbite 5K.
Runner may sign up for the 5K on the day of the event or through the Positive Movementz website.
The cost is $25 per person. For the Fun Run, the cost is $1 per child to enter the race. For more information, click here.
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