Youngwood ‘Gingerbread Man’ race raises money for autism support
Close to 300 runners endured humid conditions to hit the trail Sunday morning for the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism near Youngwood.
The event, which began and ended on the main campus of Westmoreland County Community College, raised money for Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Autism Connection of PA. A half marathon and other 5K and 10K races took runners over rural roads and a portion of the Five Star Trail.
The run included the only half marathon planned in the Greensburg area this year, according to race director Jessica Gardner of Gingerbread Man Running Company, which organized the event. Major sponsor Tri-Medical Rehab Supply chose the race’s charitable beneficiary.
According to Executive Director Lu Randall, Autism Connection provides support and information for people of all ages and all stages of the autism spectrum. The group, which fields about 130 calls for help each month and provides a weekly electronic newsletter to about 12,000 people, is independently funded.
“This race is really critical to helping us keep our mission moving forward,” she said.
The group will hold an informational meeting, “Introduction to Autism,” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in its offices at 35 Wilson St., No. 101.
Visit autismofpa.org for more information about the nonprofit.