Thousands of feet pounded against the floors of Ford Field as parents and children participated in the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks, October 12. The objective of the fundraiser is to pool funds for autism research, as well as to simply raise awareness about autism.

Friends and families joined together to form teams. Each team received the opportunity to walk around the entire concourse of Ford Field.

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“We’re here to walk with Christopher and it’s our second year here,” said Nicholas Barksdale of Team Christopher B. “I have about 30 to 40 friends and family here and we’re just excited to be here today. It’s just an awesome event. Last year we did it at Oakland University, and this year it’s even bigger in downtown Detroit.”

Each team has their own personal story.

“My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, and this movement is obviously something that’s very dear to our heart,” Dawn Battle of Team Tribe of Benjamin said. “Raising money for research so other parents don’t have to go through what we went through finding out, getting the diagnosis and getting resources. It’s been a journey for us.”

The beauty of the event is that although the journeys are different, people come together and work for the same goal: spreading awareness.

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“Just be aware of autism and recognize it,” said First Forecast Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus. “We’ve been helping for years now and both television stations I work for enjoy helping and it just feels good. It’s a pleasure to help.”

Madaus shared his personal story at the event and met fans with First Forecast Weather Anchor Karen Carter.

“It’s just great to be here on the field and to experience all the people who come up and talk to you,” said Carter. “It’s a nice event and it gets the awareness out for autism too.”

Even the Flash made an appearance. He raced fans, posed for photographs and even took a few selfies (which you can find in our Flash photo gallery, hint hint.)

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Most of all, the Flash and the CW50 Street Team learned about autism and are looking forward to Walk Now for Autism Speaks 2015.