Rickman/Brown Memorial 5K Held

Thursday, October 8, 2015
The assembled runners leave the start line Saturday morning, as they began the annual Rickman/Brown 5K in Piggott. This year green was the first color of the "color run," held to benefit autism awareness.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

A group of hearty runners and walkers braved cool conditions, and a persistent north wind, to take part in the annual Rickman/Brown Memorial 5K on Saturday, Oct. 3, in Piggott. The fundraiser is held each fall, sponsored by the South Thornton Street Church of Christ and the Mohawk Basketball Boosters. The popular "color run" fundraiser is held in memory of two former Piggott students who lost gallant battles with cancer, Matthew Brown and Erica Rickman.

Each year the effort is dedicated to a specific cause, and for 2015 the event was planned to promote awareness and raise money for the fight against autism.

Funds raised during this year's event were earmarked to help build a sensory room at the ArKids Academy in Jonesboro. The academy is a school designed for Northeast Arkansas students to help facilitate a special learning environment for children who cannot be adequately served in the public school setting. The academy currently cares for 26 students, and of them about 20 have autism.

Kaylea Little (center) served as spokesman for this year's Rickman/Brown 5K, which benefited the fight against autism. She's pictured with her grandmother Donna Parks (right) and her great-aunt, former PES teacher Kathy Coyle, as she prepared to ride the 5K route.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Serving as spokesperson for the fundraising effort this year was PHS sophomore Kaylea Little, who is autistic. And, although she doesn't benefit from the services of the academy, her efforts served to not only generate funds but also spread awareness about autism and the various autism spectrum disorders.

Those wanting dditional information on autism may find it online at www.autismspeaks.org

Earlier Rickman/Brown 5Ks served to benefit other charities and efforts, with last year's run honoring PES student Dayton Gilkison. In the fall of 2013 the fight against juvenile diabetes benefitted from the event.

The volunteers for this year's Rickman/Brown 5K color run seemed to enjoy their task, though they were hampered somewhat by a strong north wind. (TD photo/Tim Blair)

Event organizers noted donations to the cause are still being accepted, and those wanting additional information may contact Karen Coomer at 870 598-4392, Jeremy Pierce at 870 324-1575 or the church office at 870 598-3250.

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