Seventh annual Homecoming run raises money for autism

The FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities organized the run.


Participants gathered together to partake in a group stretch before the start of the race. Andres Scheele | Contributing Photographer

Amber Kelly, Contributing Writer

The Color Burst 5K hosted families and students to enjoy an evening of fun while raising money for autism Sunday.

The Homecoming race began with cannons shooting colorful paint left and right, blasting runners as they made their way around the Boca campus Henderson Field. Students were also given sprayers to cover their friends and family in paint.

Global Student Success Program member Jason Dapko (left) said, “I don’t know who is having more fun here,” while spraying FAU students that ran passed him. Matthew Quick | Contributing Photographer

Senior urban planning major Isaac Pinckney has a cousin with autism.

“It shows that we support what they’re going through and we understand that somethings that they cannot do at the end of the day,” Pinckney said. “For my cousin, sometimes he can express how he feels and it takes people a little bit more to understand.”

Sharon Rodriguez Benarroch, a staff member for the FAU Center for Global Engagement, said that it was her first time running in a 5K.

“It is great to do it for a cause so you know that you’re going to contribute toward the community,” Benarroch.

Autism affects children and teens across the spectrum from speech to communication impairments.

After the race, sophomores Christina Phillips and Jordan Jarnagin both agreed they were glad they ran together.

“I thought it was a lot of fun and it’s fun to push yourself, especially with a friend,” Phillips said. “If I did this by myself, I would have given up halfway through.”

The FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, which put on the event, works to support families and their students with autism every year.

CARD Executive Director Jack Scott helped organize the seventh annual fundraiser and said that roughly 200 people attended.

“We wanted to get together the university community along with the autism community and for everyone to have a good time,” Scott said.

Scott added that the organization won’t know how much money was raised this year until after Oct. 20.

The 5K run raised more than $7,000 last year and helps over 4,000 families each year.

Each year, organizers pick a different theme for the race from a pumpkin run to the color burst run. Although there were initial concerns that the paint would irritate allergies, no issues were reported.

Amber Kelley is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]