People across the valley celebrated World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Photo Submitted

People across the valley celebrated World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Photo Submitted

Elkford celebrates World Autism Day

Blue tee shirts could be seen throughout town as well as puzzle piece cutouts in windows

April 2 is known as World Autism Day and this year Rocky Mountain Elementary School (RMES) PAC as well as Elkford’s Diverse Abilities group wanted to celebrate all the diverse needs within Elkford.

It all started with the sale of blue tee shirts that had a heart puzzle logo with words that read “it’s okay to be different.” About 206 shirts were sold and the extra funds raised from the tee shirt sales will go to a new sensory item for RMES. The educational assistants were working on special puzzles for this day as well as some extra fun activities. Once we knew school would not be going back in, the Elkford Diverse Abilities group stepped in to make sure awareness was still brought to the town of Elkford.

Seventy two families within Elkford placed puzzle pieces in their windows and a scavenger hunt was put on to find these pieces. An event page on Facebook was created and some families set out for three hours and searched every house within Elkford. Selfies were taken at Kootenay Market, Chauncey Ridge and the post office where puzzles pieces of different diagnoses from within the Elkford Diverse Abilities group were hanging on the windows.

Points were scored for sharing within the group, selfies of wearing blue, going to different locations as well as sharing photos of houses. Two prizes for locals were given out. A big thank you to Jay and Andy at Chauncey Ridge for donating pizza, chips and pop to the lucky winner, Melodie Enns. Fuji Harland won a $25 gift certificate to Kootenay Market donated by the Rekers.

It was spread throughout Facebook land that even if you didn’t live in Elkford you could participate by sharing photos of wearing blue and also decorating your window. Submissions were made from Sparwood, Fernie, Kamloops, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Wainfleet, Ontario, Edson, Alberta and Lethbridge, Alberta. The Reker’s donated a $25 Amazon gift card with the winner going to Cindy Munn of Edson, Alberta.

A big thank you to the Elkford post office ladies, Mark at Kootenay Market, Andy and Jay at Chauncey Ridge since they all purchased shirts for this special day. It was a sea of blue walking into these three businesses.

Elkford might be a small community but the diverse abilities within the community are huge. Thank you to everyone for working on bringing awareness and acceptance to Elkford.

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