A Poplar Grove mom is hoping to open The Superhero Center for Autism in Rockford by 2018, and you can help her raise money to do so by participating in the Superhero Sprint 5K Run/Walk at Doty Park in Belvidere this Saturday.

Kids today are being diagnosed with Autism at an alarming rate. Scientists and medical professionals may not fully understand why this is happening or how to effectively prevent it, but one things for sure; any family with a special needs child does not have to navigate the journey alone.

According to the Rockford Register Star, Jamie Dornink of Poplar Grove came up with the idea for The Superhero Center for Autism after her son was diagnosed with autism at 21 months old. The non-profit center will be a judgement-free zone open to all kids with developmental disabilities and their families. The center hopes to offer support groups, classes, outings, a sensory gym and many other resources for special needs kids.

So far, Dornink and her board of directors have raised about $35,000 of the $150,000 needed to open The Superhero Center for Autism in Rockford. That is why they are hosting the Superhero Sprint 5K Run/Walk this Saturday, April 15, starting at 9 a.m. at Doty Park on W Locust Street in Belvidere. Day-of registration will be available starting at 8 a.m., or you can still register online here.