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NYRR Open Run Raises Autism Awareness in Staten Island

NYRR Open Run is a community-based initiative that brings free weekly runs and walks to local families in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since launching NYRR Open Run last year, our goal has been to welcome community members of all ages, backgrounds, and ability levels.

On Sunday, April 10, we were honored and excited to partner with Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Autism Speaks, and New York City Parks & Recreation to dedicate our weekly Open Run at Conference House Park in Staten Island to families that include members on the autism spectrum.

Undaunted by chilly weather, about 25 people participated in the walk/run, including 12 NYRR Open Run first-timers and three families with members on the autism spectrum. Among the participants were 29-year-old Adam Sternberg and his father, Michael Sternberg.

“I’m always looking for some type of activity for Adam,” said Michael. “There are lots of places to go, but usually not in the company of other people. The NYRR Open Run is great for socialization, as the group isn’t just special needs kids.”

Also on hand at Open Run were Staten Island Assemblyman Michael Cusick and Conference House Park director John Kilcullen—both of whom praised NYRR and Autism Speaks for promoting fitness, community involvement, and autism awareness.

“It’s so important to bring awareness to autism, particularly on Staten Island,” said Cusick. “This is a very good way to do that. Running and running events are an effective way to bring people together no matter what the cause, but especially for one as important as autism awareness.”

Check out great photos from the event in the album at the top of the page.

NYRR Open Run Conference House Park takes place every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Visit NYRR Open Run to find an Open Run park location near you.

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