Lace up and make an impact with Tyler Run for Autism


As part of our ongoing Subaru Support series, Peltier Subaru in Tyler is shining a spotlight on a non-profit organization each month. For March, we are learning about Tyler Run for Autism, a nonprofit that raises funds for children with autism and other special needs.

Now on the 12th year of the Tyler Run for Autism, the 2023 run, presented by Southside Bank, will be held on April 1st at Pollard United Methodist Church in Tyler, taking up the entire parking lot! The “Run” part of it all is a 10K, 5K, and 1 Mile Family Fun Run, but there is also a whole sleuth of excitement going on right there in the parking lot.

“We have all of the amazing providers who have special services for children with special needs for autism,” said Leigh Ann Cook, the Vendor & Marketing Coordinator for Tyler Run for Autism. "

There will be a community wide celebration going on with bounce houses, vendors, face painting, and more to experience! The event kicks off at 8:00 AM with the opening ceremonies and runners/walkers start going around 8:30 AM. The party itself will continue until 11:00 AM, so there’s plenty of time to swing by and support the kids and have some fun even if you cannot make the run.

How did Tyler Run for Autism start?

Tyler Run for Autism began in 2012 when a group of parents wanted to help families afford the medical expenses that comes from the different treatments, medications, and therapies for their children.

“12 years ago, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was not covered by most insurance companies, and so what they found was they were very fortunate and blessed that they were able to have insurance that helped them afford it, but most people are not,” said Cook. “Over time insurance has covered more ABA, but they have these astronomical deductibles. What we have found is if you can help families meet those $8,000 deductibles, you can help a lot more people.”

It’s because of these initial parents that new families, who are seeking treatment and help, no longer have to drive to further away cities such as Dallas, Austin, & Houston.

Where do the proceeds go?

The Tyler Run for Autism is 100$ sponsored so that all proceeds raised will help fund the Treatment & Learning Center, a nonprofit clinic that provides ABA to children from 18 months to 21 years old., Monarch Prep, an academic center that provides neurodiverse individuals with academic and behavioral needs to learn in a dignifying and supportive way, & the Neurodivergent Advocates of East Texas, a nonprofit that provides neurodivergent children and their families with a welcoming community of knowledge, support, encouragement, and resources.

“All of our clients here at TLC benefit from it, because they help with some of these extra events that we wouldn’t get to do otherwise between all of the programs that we have here,” said TLC Executive Director Paige Sanchez.

Sanchez spoke to us about growing up with a brother that has special needs, and seeing the limited resources there were at the time and how the support available has grown exponentially for families now and how the community comes together to provide experiences and joy to each child’s life.

All the clients at TLC are able to benefit from the proceeds, with it providing programs and events that raise the quality of life for each child and helping extend the amount of learning experiences available. The proceeds also help fund a grant that families can apply for while enrolled at TLC. This grant helps take the load of the family due to doctor and medication bills, along with helping fund the different therapies available for the child to go through.

Peltier Subaru Supports is the latest initiative at The East Texas Weekend created to highlight local non-profits around East Texas. Each month we will feature a new organization in our region to highlight their importance within our community. If you have an idea for our next feature, let us know by emailing us here.

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Jade Allen

Jade Allen

Jade Allen explores East Texas to bring the most exciting activities and locations to The East Texas Weekend. Jade came to Texas in 2018, where it has steadily become a home and a place to explore.