MANSURA, La. - The CDC reports that 1 in every 88 children has been diagnosed with some form of autism.
We went out to Avoyelles Parish today to catch up with a group that's trying to raise awareness for autism and celebrate the kids that have it.
Blaise Fontenot says he's having a good day.
Blaise Fontenot: "Well it's because of everything."
He's at the second annual Fun Day, an event organized by--and benefiting--the Avoyelles Autism Network.
Family and friends of the Avoyelles Autism Network came out to the Cochon de Lait Pavilion in Mansura for hours of fun, food, prizes, and of course, games.
Blaise Fontenot: "Pick-a-duck, and tic tac toe."
For Blaise it's about having fun, but for the Avoyelles Autism Network it's about raising awareness.
Amanda Reed, president of Avoyelles Autism Network: "We just want the public to be aware, and our community to be aware of our children, and get to know a little bit more about them, and about autism in general."
And Reed says it's not hard to get a community like Avoyelles Parish behind a cause like autism.
Reed: "It's amazing. Avoyelles Parish is pretty small when you look at it. But it's the close-knit of the families and the friends and the whole business atmosphere that just pulls everything together."
And the community didn't disappoint for this event, either. Even the mayor stopped by to show his support for the kids.
Kenneth Pickett, mayor of Mansura: "I feel that I'm obligated to provide causes and look out for the needs of our children. Because our children are our future, but we are the hope for their future."
Amanda Reed wants her community to know that autistic children just want to be kids, too.
Reed: "To let them know that it's okay to come out and be with our kids and hang out with them. And you can invite them to sleepovers."
And Blaise wants his community to know that he made some new friends at the annual Fun Day.
Blaise Fontenot: "They're nice, and they're fun too. And they're having fun too."
More than 10 thousand dollars was raised at the event, and that money will go directly to the Avoyelles Autism Network to fund field trips and even some medical expenses for the kids.
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