It's time once again to lace up those walking shoes and head over to for the fifth annual Brianna & Friends Walk to Talk.
This year's event will kick off at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Berens, 493 Oaklawn Ave.
If you haven't already registered for the walk online or at in Elmhurst, you can register on site beginning at 8 a.m.
Even if you do register in advance, be sure to show up at 8, because there will be lots of fun, family activities going on before the Walk begins at 10 a.m.
The Jesse White Tumblers will be there performing mind-bending acrobatics. Kids can check out a Thomas Train and bounce in multiple moon jumps provided by A Moon Jump 4U. There will be face painting and music and, new this year, a fun, noncompetitive Kids' Dash.
Brianna DiCianni is the inspiration for the Walk. Brianna, daughter of Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni, has autism, which robbed her of her ability to speak in early childhood. Thanks to the aggressive speech therapy Brianna received at Elmhurst's , she is now able to talk.
All funds raised at Walk to Talk will benefit the Center for Speech and Language Disorders, which serves children with autism and other disorders affecting speech.
"We're trying to take our daughter's challenge and turn it into a success for other children that are affected," Mayor DiCianni said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "The proceeds will go to local families that will get screenings, early diagnosis and therapy."
The Center for Speech and Language Disorders has expanded to be able to serve more children, the mayor said.
"They just had a building donated to them in Lombard," he said.
Autism is the No. 1 public health condition affecting children in the U.S., said DiCianni, who has to benefit families of children with autism.
One hundred twenty children are affected in Elmhurst, 2,500 in DuPage County and about 20,000 across the state, he said.
"It's not going away," he said.
The walk is organized by Elmhurst run organizer extraordinaire, Dan Gibbons, of Turkey Trot fame.
Cost is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the event; kids in strollers can participate for free. Participants should enter Berens Park at the lot on West Avenue. For more information, visit www.walktotalk.org.