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Awareness and money raised for autism in Ilion

By GARY LIBERATORE

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Bikers and hikers were out in Herkimer County on Sunday raising money and awareness.  They took part in the first annual event called "Adventures for Autism".  It was held in Russell Park in Ilion right behind the Ilion Jr./Sr. High School.
    
The event was organized Jennifer Hall, who is from Ilion.  Her seven year old daughter Alayna has been diagnosed with a form of autism and has been helped by the Kelberman center in Utica.
    
Hall says she wanted to raise money for the organization that has helped her family so much, and at the same time, resurrect a park that has been relatively dormant for years.
    
Ilion Mayor John Stephens was on hand and says he is very happy the Russell Park is being utilized.  Stephens says there are some other people in the community that he has heard from who also want to make the park more of a focal point in the village.
    
Sunday morning, experienced mountain bikers went on a five mile race through the park, and donated $25.00 each.  Mountain biker Nick Cognetto of New Hartford says he'll be back, "this is going to be a great event, and if it grows to be huge, I wouldn't be surprised."
    
Sunday afternoon, hikers went on a one mile awareness walk through the park.  Each hiker also made a donation.  No word yet on how much money was raised.

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