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Join Brianna and Friends, and Walk for Kids Who Can't Talk This Sunday

Jesse White Tumblers are among the new attractions at the fifth annual Walk to Talk at Berens Park.

It's time once again to lace up those walking shoes and head over to for the fifth annual Brianna & Friends Walk to Talk.

This year's event will kick off at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Berens, 493 Oaklawn Ave.

If you haven't already registered for the walk online or at in Elmhurst, you can register on site beginning at 8 a.m.

Even if you do register in advance, be sure to show up at 8, because there will be lots of fun, family activities going on before the Walk begins at 10 a.m.

The Jesse White Tumblers will be there performing mind-bending acrobatics. Kids can check out a Thomas Train and bounce in multiple moon jumps provided by A Moon Jump 4U. There will be face painting and music and, new this year, a fun, noncompetitive Kids' Dash.

Brianna DiCianni is the inspiration for the Walk. Brianna, daughter of Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni, has autism, which robbed her of her ability to speak in early childhood. Thanks to the aggressive speech therapy Brianna received at Elmhurst's , she is now able to talk.

All funds raised at Walk to Talk will benefit the Center for Speech and Language Disorders, which serves children with autism and other disorders affecting speech.

"We're trying to take our daughter's challenge and turn it into a success for other children that are affected," Mayor DiCianni said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "The proceeds will go to local families that will get screenings, early diagnosis and therapy."

The Center for Speech and Language Disorders has expanded to be able to serve more children, the mayor said.

"They just had a building donated to them in Lombard," he said.

Autism is the No. 1 public health condition affecting children in the U.S., said DiCianni, who has to benefit families of children with autism.

One hundred twenty children are affected in Elmhurst, 2,500 in DuPage County and about 20,000 across the state, he said.

"It's not going away," he said.

The walk is organized by Elmhurst run organizer extraordinaire, Dan Gibbons, of Turkey Trot fame.

Cost is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the event; kids in strollers can participate for free. Participants should enter Berens Park at the lot on West Avenue. For more information, visit www.walktotalk.org.

Cronan September 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
By the way, I wonder where the t-shirts are that the "city" collected money for? I dropped 5 dollars into a can on St. Charles and Spring one morning many many months ago and when I asked the young lad what the money was for he said every resident will be getting a character counts t-shirt. Have you received yours yet??
Susan September 07, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Agree! Inappropriate use of the city call system.
JLT September 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Mr. Dicianni, thank you for all you do for this cause. What you've done for families with children with autism is wonderful. I'm sure your familiy endured quite a bit, but you always fight through! Keep up the good work.
Moe September 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Wow...can you all get over yourselves for a minute? Are you comparing sales calls to autism awareness? So what if he used the system....judging by all (drum role please) 5 negative comments, not too many people were "annoyed" or ready to put him in handcuffs. Will you not do anything for your kids within reason? So he wasted 30 seconds of your very more important lives and some kid took a whole $5 from Cronan for a character counts shirt....get some character of your own first.
Darlene Heslop September 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM
if the mayor is allowed to use the elmhurst "all call" system to promote his charitable event, then in all fairness...every charitable event and cause in elmhurst should be allowed to use this system...otherwise...the mayor should refrain from using the official "all call" system and instead pay for his own robo calls... .

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