April 2018 will be the second year for the Run for Autism event held at the Dodge City YMCA walking track.

The event correlates with Autism Awareness Month nationwide.

On Monday, in honor of Light It Up Blue Day, El Capitan was lit up blue in Dodge City, the color for autism awareness.

"It started as a group of moms," Run for Autism organizer Trista Fergerson said. "Holly Legg, Tatiana Tran and myself started it as a support group for parents with kids on the spectrum.

"We wanted our boys to be accepted no matter their differences and we didn’t want them looked down upon because of stereotypes of autism.

"We decided to do this race to not only bring awareness to the autistic community in Dodge City, but to the entire special needs community.

"Our goal is to always keeps all the proceeds of this race local.

"We are all residents and active members of this community and we want to give back to the community and the organizations that have helped us learn how to help our boys.

"Last year we donated $4,000 to Arrowhead West Early Childhood Intervention and this year our goal is to be able to purchase handicap-accessible playground equipment for parks in Dodge City, more specifically wheel chair-accessible swings."

The 5k Run/Walk is April 21 and starts at 10 a.m. at the YMCA walking track.

According to Fergerson, the walk/run will loop around the streets in the residential neighborhood in that area and end back at the YMCA.

"Along with the race registration fee, we will be raising money by selling raffle tickets and having a silent auction for larger donated gifts," she said. "We have been very fortunate this year in getting some awesome sponsors.

"We have six large sponsors helping with the T-shirts — Dr. Joy Chiropractic, Lewis Toyota, Family Practice Associates, Dr. Moore of Dodge City Eye Care, Family Care Clinic and this year we added Jason Putnum of Shelter Insurance Agency.

"We also have had many gifts donated from businesses throughout the community such as, JCPenney, Maurices, Pink Zebra, Central Station Bar and Grill, El Korita, Color Bar Salon, Tropical Island Tan and Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Ensuenos boutique, Fashion Corner, and many others."

If you have questions or want to register for the walk/run, visit the Facebook page at DC Run for Autism.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com