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Walk for Autism at New York-Presbyterian Hospital

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks organizers hope to expand on the success of last year's walk at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, which drew 15,000 participants and raised more than $1.3 million, according to a press release.

The 11th annual walk returns to the hospital's White Plains campus this year and is the signature fundraiser for Autism Speaks, which works to increase awareness, fund innovative research and family services, and advocate for the needs of people with autism and their families.

This year, Rye Brook resident Doris Perez is the walk's chairperson.

The organization raised a total of $28 million last year from Walk Now for Autism events throughout the country.

"We are excited to build on the success of last year’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks event and expand the ranks of both walkers and donors in 2012," Christie Godowski, Autism Speaks’ Metro New York Area director, said in the statement.

This year's walk will take place Sunday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's White Plains campus. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Events include a two-mile walk and community resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations and creative child-friendly activities — a "one-stop-shop for families affected by autism," the release said.

"We are pleased that NewYork-Presbyterian is once again our walk host and thrilled that they, along with New York Center for Autism, recently broke ground on the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, which will be a tremendous resource to many individuals with autism and their families," said Laura Slatkin, one of three honorary walk chairs for this year's event.

An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum, a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

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