The Everett City Council, Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Police Chief Steven Mazzie and City Services Director Jay Marcotte all voiced their support for an initiative by local tattoo artist, business owner and father Shawn Coyle of Ferry Street Ink, to establish a new 5k charity road race in Everett to support and raise awareness for Autism in the city.
Coyle was joined by his son Shane, who is autistic, and his girlfriend Teresa when he addressed the City Council Monday night to ask for their blessing and support.
“We are here tonight hoping to get a ‘yes’ vote from you, so that we can begin (planning) this race,” said Coyle.
Prior to appearing before the Council, Coyle had already reached out to several city departments, Mayor DeMaria and Councilor John Leo McKinnon to get support for his idea, but his efforts in front of the full council Monday night were rewarded with a unanimous show of support from not only the council but nearly every city department and official who would have a role in the process of planning the race.
Coyle told the Council that there are currently 89 families in Everett with autistic children, “and there are more every year,” said Coyle.
Nationally, one in every 68 children born is now diagnosed on the Autism spectrum of developmental delays.
According to Coyle, the first Everett Autism 5K, no official name has been given to the race as yet, will be held on April 15, 2015, because April is National Autism Awareness Month, and the time between now and then will allow his group the time they need to properly and market the event.
Coyle said that a 501 c 3, non-profit, charitable organization has been established to accept donations for the run and that a website for the run is in development.
Currently, there is a “micro-site” on his businesses webpage, ferrystreetink.net. to provide information about the planned run to the public.