PAINTSVILLE — The Highlands Foundation kicked off Autism Awareness Month by hosting the fifth annual Autism Jigsaw 5K on Saturday, April 12, beginning at the Highlands Medical Office Building in Paintsville. Approximately 175 people registered for the event. Between registrations and donations, the race yielded almost $17,000 in funds for the Highlands Center for Autism.
The event began with a Kids’ Fun Run for children ages 10 and under. For the second year in a row, first and second place winners were Aaron and Olivia Lawson, children of Shane and Kelly Lawson, Physical Therapists at Highlands Health System. Third place was awarded to Cristina Balch, daughter of Brandi Balch, a nurse in the operating room at Highlands.
The 5K run / walk included several categories. The first category was young adult, ages 16-24. James Hinchman was the male winner with a time of 23:42, and the female winner was Kristin Bentley with a time of 28:39.
For the Adult group, ages 25-49, the male winner was Shane Lawson with a time of 21:41, and the second place male winner was Rick O’Bryan with a time of 22:34. The female winner was Kelly Lawson with a time of 22:12, and the second place went to Tara Bailey with a time of 27:19.
In the 50 and over division, the winner was Clifton Blanton with a time of 27:14.
Burl Spurlock was also awarded the oldest participant trophy.
Lastly, the overall men’s winner was Shane Lawson, and the overall women’s winner was Kelly Lawson.
Kathy Rubado, Executive Director of the Highlands Foundation, expressed her gratitude stating, “Thank you to everyone who came out to support the 2014 Highlands Jigsaw 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Highlands Center for Autism. The weather was almost perfect and everyone seemed to have a very good time. Sincere thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who came out to help with the event. Again, I’m very appreciative of anyone who participated in any way to help make this year’s Jigsaw 5K a success.”
Highlands Center for Autism will also celebrate five years of treatment for children with autism, and support and education for their families. All are welcome to join in celebrating this milestone on Thursday, April 24, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Highlands Center for Autism, 5080 KY Rt. 321 in Prestonsburg. The event will include tours of the facility, presentations from parents , program director, Dr. Shelli Deskins, Highlands Health System President and CEO, Bud Warman, and state Representatives Jeff Greer and Greg Stumbo.