North Shore walk gives voice to Autism Speaks
Bob Anderson of Northbrook, Northbrook Jr. Spartans Football League director, crosses the start line of North Shore Walk Now for Autism Speaks at the Chicago Botanic Garden. | Karie Angell Luc~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 6:52PM
Timmy Kogen, 13, of Deerfield, sat in his sports chair at the North Shore Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising event April 29 at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The walk is important because every 11 minutes a family receives the news their child has an autism spectrum disorder.
Timmy’s chair, wheeled by his caregivers, was royal blue — not the same aqua as Borris the prince of whales, a sensory soft plush toy invented for Timmy by his aunt.
Suzy Kogen Friedman, Northbrook KZF Development president, explained Borris.
Children diagnosed with autism often seek comfort by chewing. A chew-safe durable toy, Borris is sold for $25 at softclothing.net.
Susie the starfish is coming, said Friedman as she showed artwork of more sea friends.
“And Susie is special because she’s missing an arm and Borris befriends her. Borris is a big-hearted whale who sees past any differences and cares only if other sea creatures are kind,” she said. “He’s bringing awareness to children that need to have a toy to love who can’t have a standard plush toy.”
Timmy also has a Northbrook walking path named after him thanks to his aunt. The Timmy Trail on Waukegan Road encircles the Meadow Ridge subdivision (a KZF development) west of the famed Techny Towers. Timmy often enjoys walks in the fresh air there with extended family.
The Walgreens table, where white toy trucks were giveaways along with red water bottles, was set up next to the Soft Clothing booth.
Walgreens store managers Marcus Anderson and Jason Myers greeted patrons. Nicole Williams, Walgreens Buffalo Grove store manager, appreciated the volunteerism by her husband, Adam Williams, village of Northbrook GIS (satellite technology) coordinator.
Near the start line, staff unfurled a long plastic banner, and Bob Anderson, Northbrook Jr. Spartans Football League director, walked the three miles through the picturesque Chicago Botanic Garden to support Autism Speaks.
Visit walknowforautismspeaks.org for more information.