Easter Seals will host charity walk and contest at Polish Fest

More than 400 participants will walk to help individuals with special needs.

Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin and more than 400 participants will walk to help individuals with special needs today at Polish Fest.  Registration begins at 5:00 p.m. in the Easter Seals tent just west of the main gate of the festival.  Walkers will then proceed to the Potawatomi Stage for the pre-walk entertainment featuring the All-Star SUPERband. Steve the Homer True from ESPN Sports Radio will be the guest emcee. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m., and will be led by the Klements Racing Sausages and the 2010 Walk with Me Honorary Ambassadors.
Prior to the Walk, Easter Seals will also feature its national online contest Sketch-A-Space, supported by Google SketchUp, a 3-D modeling software. Easter Seals is one of nation’s largest providers of autism services and the contest will allow people with or without autism an opportunity to design their ideal, dream space. The winner of the competition will receive $2,000 to make their space a reality.
According to Patricia Wright, national director of autism services at Easter Seals, a person living with autism can find physical room distractions almost debilitating.
“When it comes to living with autism, a person’s physical space and environment can be particularly important. Many individuals with autism report increased sensitivity to sounds, smells, tactile and their visual stimuli – unique needs that need to be addressed,”  Wright said.
Google SketchUp was originally developed for users to design and communicate in 3-D. “Joining up with Google SketchUp for this contest makes perfect sense,” Wright said. “Not only is it a wonderful tool for individuals with autism to express themselves, it’s a great way for entrants to share their creative ideas for what makes a comfortable and safe space, whether it be a bedroom, family room, classroom or office.”
Demonstrations of this free 3-D software will be held at the Potawatomi Stage during Polish Fest this Friday from 12 to 5 p.m.  The interactive Google Sketch Up demonstrations, will allow festival goers to work in the software, learn more about how design and space affects children and adults with autism and to further encourage participation in this national designing contest.

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