Laura Calvert (at left) and Toni Miranda of the Peace for the Pieces Social Group invite the community to the upcoming Autism Awareness Day on April 9 at the Atascosa River Park in Pleasanton. Decorated puzzle pieces will be among the items up for bid in the silent auction. LISA LUNA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Following a successful inaugural event in 2021, the Peace for the Pieces Social Group is busy preparing for their Second Annual Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 9.

Laura Calvert, Toni Miranda and their crew of volunteers invite the entire community to attend this free celebration at the Atascosa River Park in Pleasanton from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine.

Bring your family for a day of fun-filled activities at the River Park pavilion. Children can enjoy moon bounces, donated by Martinez Moon Bounce. Other fun activities include face painting and balloon twists. The Tat Studio will have a temporary tattoo station for children.

New this year will be Fishing with Fin Addicts Angler Foundation.

The Texas Game Warden will bring out their mobile museum and Hillary Cashmer will provide DJ music to keep the crowd going. There will be delicious food with Fowl’s BBQ food truck and other vendors.

Be sure to take a look at the items up for bid in the silent auction. It will start online a week before the event on the Peace for the Pieces Social Group Facebook page. The auction will includes quilts, $ 50 gift certificate from The Office Bar and Grill, gift baskets, shirts and other miscellaneous items. They will accept auction donations all the way up to April 9.

The fun walk is scheduled to start at 11:30 am at the park. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as your favorite character. Prizes will be awarded to the cutestthemed costume.

Gillespie Custom Cabinets in Leming helped cut out the wooden puzzle pieces which will be painted by the Pleasanton High School art class.

“Each student will interpret their own personal design on it,” said Miranda. “We will put them up for auction with a starting bid of $ 10.”

The celebration will also include a “chalk-out” in which puzzle pieces are drawn on the pavement. Businesses and individuals can sponsor the puzzle pieces, which are then colored in. Prizes will be given to the top three designs.

Approximately 75 people attended last year and it is hoped that more will attend this year. Calvert would like to see more businesses get a group together and participate in the event. She especially invites schools and those in education to attend.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting activities, events and outings for special needs children. This includes their Halloween and Christmas parties, pool parties for graduates, trips to Son’s River Ranch, yearround camps and more. Last year’s Christmas party at the American Legion was huge, with approximately 50 families attending. They estimated about 125-140 people attended. The Jourdanton VFW also generously donated.

The idea for the Autism Awareness Day first came about when Calvert and Miranda thought about how difficult it was for many local parents to drive to San Antonio to attend events there. They want the celebration to put Pleasanton on the map.

“We have a great community that is very warm and loving. Why not do it in our own community? ” asked Miranda.

The celebration is all about inclusion, noted Calvert.

“They want to be accepted by the community and supported,” said Calvert.

“They are our children and they are part of the community,” added Miranda.

They would like to see the same support that people show for sports and other events.

“We are encouraging families to come on out and support the kids, even if they just walk with them,” said Miranda. “Come support the kids that are doing the puzzle pieces.”

Although April is Autism Awareness Month, it is about helping special needs children and their families. The Peace for the Pieces Social Group offers friendships, educational information and they can assist others with financial questions they may have.

Sponsorship spots for $ 50 and vendor spaces for $ 20 are available by calling Calvert at 830-570-2782.

You can follow their Facebook page for updates on the event and auction and their latest activities.

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