Autism walk brings in $255,000

More than 8,500 people raised $255,000 for autism research, awareness and family service last weekend at the Orange County Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

The eighth annual event at the Orange County Great Park's El Toro Field attracted volunteers and family members of people with autism.

Celebrity guests included Phillip Palmer, ABC7 news anchor and the event's master of ceremonies, and actress Tisha Campbell-Martin from the television show "Martin," according to a news release. Two Major League Soccer players, Danny Califf and Patrick McLain of Chivas USA, were also in attendance to sign autographs and take photos with attendees.

"This year, the venue very much lent itself for a family-fun atmosphere and a community coming together," said Elif Cagin, the Orange County Walk chairwoman for Autism Speaks. "That was one of the best parts of the event. It's really important when you look around and see how many people have been affected by autism. It's nice to see people of all ages come out who were directly affected by autism supporting family members or classmates."

For more information about Autism Speaks and to donate, visit

— Brittany Woolsey

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