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Local marathon runner to raise money for Northern Interior Autism Society

Marathon runner Matija Tiani along with Jamie Rivard of the Northern Interior Autism Society, and sponsors of Tiani’s fund-raising runs. Bill Phillips photo

Matija Tiani

A lot of people are capable of running a 10k. But what about running 10 kilometres every day for 31 consecutive days.

That’s exactly what Matija Tiani, a local Prince George resident and athlete is planning to do in a in a month-long fundraising effort for the Northern Interior Autism Society throughout the entire month of October 2020, which is also Autism Awareness Month. And, she will be raising $5 per kilometre.

The ninth Annual Autism Awareness Walk was originally scheduled for April 25 but, as with many local annual fundraising traditions, the event was canceled due to COVID-19 and no fundraising dollars came in.

The society is now dedicating October to a month-long Autism Awareness Walk, encouraging community members to head outside and walk with a blue balloon to show their support using the hashtag: #ActiveForAutism.

“The Northern Interior Autism Society was heartbroken to cancel our annual autism awareness walk in Prince George,” said Jamie Rivard, one of four directors on the Northern Interior Autism Society. “This annual walk is the a community event that helps bring families together with children and family members with disabilities. It helps shine a light of awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities.”

Five Prince George companies have stepped up to help the Northern Interior Autism Society during an unprecedented year that saw their fundraising dollars come to a halt. Canadian Western Bank, Rivers Edge Services, North Side Auto Sales, Certified Labs, and the Brink Group of Companies will each donate $1 for every kilometre Tiani runs throughout the month of October to the Northern Interior Autism Society.

“I am honoured to help the Northern Interior Autism Society,” said Tiani, who was looking forward to running in the Boston Marathon this year, prior COVID-19 squashing that plan. “I have gained so much unconditional love and trust over the years working alongside and supporting children with autism. Being able to give back through my passion of running is as gratifying as the finish line of a marathon.”

The goal for the month-long Autism Awareness Walk throughout October 2020 is to raise $5,000 for the Northern Interior Autism Society, a figure that will make up for their fundraising event being canceled (postponed) this past April. In addition to the generous sponsors, a GoFundMe Account has also been created, where members of the public can show their support by providing a donation of any size. 


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