Color Me Au-Some 5K Set for June 9

Color Me Au-Some 5K Walk/Run — the fun event where participants are covered, coated, swathed and plastered with dry tempera paint powder at stations throughout the course — is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9.

Packet pick-up will be available from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 8, and from 7-8 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at Heritage Port. To register, email for a printable race application or go to

Following the race, participants can enjoy refreshments, door prizes, an awards ceremony and music provided by Nick Arno Entertainment. Participants are encouraged to wear white to fully engage in the “color me process.”

Title sponsors for this year’s event are T.D. Williamson, Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration, Brickstreet Foundation, WTRF, Lamar Advertising, Subway, DiCarlo’s Pizza (St. Clairsville), Rohrig Heavy Equipment Maintenance and Saturn Bronze Inc.

Suzanne Rohrig Gaiser, legal counsel for title sponsor Rohrig Heavy Equipment Maintenance, said, “We are honored to sponsor an event that directly benefits local children with autism. The programs that Augusta Levy Learning Center provide are truly remarkable, and we are thrilled to contribute to their work.”

The Color Me Au-Some 5K Walk/Run course incorporates one of the city’s oldest and most recognizable landmarks, the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. The course starts at the picturesque Wheeling Waterfront, goes south to 20th Street, up Market Streetto 10th Street, across the Suspension Bridge, around Wheeling Island, back over the Suspension Bridge and down Main Street, returning to the waterfront.

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Awards will be given to the top five female and male walkers and runners, and to the top three female and male finishers in the following age categories: 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and the top finisher in 70+.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 59 children (1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis, the cause and cure of which remain unknown. Yet treatment is available. Over 40 years of replicable research has shown that when children receive early intensive evidence-based treatment, more than 90 percent will gain skills at a higher rate than those in usual community programs, and half of them will improve to the point of losing their diagnosis and becoming indistinguishable from their peers.

Applied Behavior Analysis  (ABA) is the best-known and most widely-researched evidence-based treatment for children with autism. ABA can improve the socialization, language and cognitive skills of children while reducing self-injurious, aggressive and disruptive behaviors. To be effective, this treatment must be, at least initially, intensive, individualized, offered on a one-to-one basis and follow the principles of the science of behavior analysis.