Walk and Roll-A-Thon celebrates Disabilities Employment Awareness month

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COLUMBIA — The first ever Walk and Roll-A-Thon took place Saturday to celebrate Disability Awareness Month.

The monetary proceeds are for the People First of Boone County, a local grass roots self-advocacy group for people with disabilities.

Jason Mize, vice president of People First of Boone County, said the group is unique because of how it's run.

“It’s a non-profit organization for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. Basically, it’s a group that does a lot of different things,” Mize said.

Katie Kinder calls Saturday’s event an important one for the community because of what it showcases.

“It’s important because we can get out and show people that we can do stuff that people think that we can’t,” Kinder said.

Arnold Larson is also a part of the People First of Boone County and calls the walk a special time with his friends.

“It means a lot to me. I like to be with my friends, I like to be with my family,” said Larson.

Kinder also said that she hopes events like this will showcase the importance of treating all people the same.

“We’re human and we’re people. We have feelings and not to label us,” Kinder said.

Mize agrees, reminding people that they walk among people with disabilities every day.

“There’s a lot of people out there that do have disabilities that are over at MU and Stephens College or even Columbia College,” Mize said.

Kinder said she is walking for herself and for all those that have disabilities. Larson said he is walking for himself and his mom as she couldn’t be with him at the event.

Boone County Family Resources hosted the walk. Participants could either raise or donate $10 to participate in the run. Those who donated $10 received a free T-shirt.

The walk took place at Cosmo-Bethel Park in Columbia.