PASADENA ( — About 12,000 to 15,000 people took part in the 5K  Los Angeles Autism Speaks Walk at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Saturday.

The walk raised more than $532,000 as of Saturday evening, according to Autism Speaks – the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will provide free resources, grants and trained staff to assist people with autism and their families and support advocacy efforts and research, according to Jackie Acker, a public relations representative for Autism Speaks.

Walks benefiting Autism Speaks are held across the United States throughout the year, C.J. Volpe, the chief of media strategy for Autism Speaks, told City News Service.

The walk was held on the next to the last day of Autism Awareness Month, which comes in April.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism.

Autism Speaks is conducting its international Light It Up Blue campaign during Autism Awareness Month where various iconic buildings are lit in blue and people are encouraged to wear blue to promote understanding and acceptance of people with autism and their families.

In his proclamation declaring April 2 World Autism Awareness Awareness Day, President Donald Trump pledged that his administration would continue “to work with the Congress to implement the 21st Century Cures Act and help to clear the way for breakthroughs in medical science.”

Trump also called “upon all Americans to learn more about the signs of autism to improve early diagnosis, understand the challenges faced by those with autism spectrum disorders and to do what they can to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.”

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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