MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's an event that's aimed at bringing awareness and support to those with autism, and on Sunday morning, September 7th, it brought 3,000 to the Summerfest grounds. Dylan's Run benefits the Autism Society of America -- and was created in honor of a boy who is now 17 years old.
Autism effects one in every 68 children, and on Sunday, thousands took part in an effort to support them. It all started with Dylan Schwartz.
"It's an amazing feeling to look out and see friends and new friends. The autism community is a really tight-knit community, so they really come out to support this event," Dylan's father, Scott Schwartz said.
Dylan was two years old when he was diagnosed with autism.
"Communication is difficult, social settings are difficult, The normal things that you and I would engage in," Scott Schwartz said.
Jose and Jennifer Luna took part in the event for the first time on Sunday. Their son, Andrew was diagnosed with autism at just 18 months old.
"He's a very lovable kid, just like anyone else -- just wants to be accepted. I was pretty impressed (with the event). I wasn't sure what to expect," Jose Luna said.
25 of their family members and friends walked alongside them, to support their son.
"It means the world. It shows that people really care," Jose Luna said.
Dylan's Run started with a couple hundred participants in 2001, and is now more than 3,000 strong.
"This is the single largest one-day gathering of folks in Wisconsin supporting autism awareness," Scott Schwartz said.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Dylan's Run and autism, and/or to make a donation.