MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Families came together Saturday morning to raise money, awareness and acceptance for autism.

The Autism Society of Dayton held its annual 5K walk and run at the Payne Recreation Center in Moraine on Saturday, April 29.

“Everybody just being here, it’s awesome,” event participant Austin Kozee said. “I love this event. I love everything about it. I’ve been here for a while, like doing this event.”

The event is the Autism Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The money raised goes to the organization’s family grant program.

“That helps families with respite, medical bills, anything that they might need, and it’s also an opportunity for families to get to know the resources that are available in our community,” Lashell Daughterman, vice president of the Autism Society of Dayton, said.

Before the walk/run took place, people could stop by a tent full of tables with community resources for families caring for a loved one with autism.

“A lot of families who have children with autism feel isolated and lonely, we want them to know that we are here for them,” Daughterman said.

Rowan Pegg’s family even brought a donation for the society with the money they raised this year.

“$800 bucks,” Rowan said. “We mostly sold merch, and next year it’s supposed to be $1000 bucks, so we’re going to put merch in every store possible.”

The Autism Society’s mission doesn’t stop after the walk. The organization holds events and fundraisers year-round. To learn more, click here.