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Graffiti Bridge shared by sports team, Autism Pensacola
PENSACOLA - A heartwarming story played out at Graffiti Bridge in Pensacola overnight. A local sports team was getting ready to paint the bridge with their team colors ahead of their game this weekend, but they changed their plans when they found out it was already painted for World Autism Awareness Day, which is today.
If you're familiar with Graffiti Bridge, you know folks often paint over things there to get their message out, but this time the West Florida Ravens decided to take a different approach. Instead of taking over the bridge, they decided to share it, adding information about their upcoming game and their team emblem and colors, but leaving much of the work Autism Pensacola did on Tuesday alone.
"We wanted to make sure autism awareness was readily apparent," said Joey McKnight, the minor league football team's vice president, "Some of the players and staff on our team have autistic members of their families. I've got a couple of cousins who have it and they're just kids. They wanna have fun and you just gotta maybe be a little more open and a little more lax with 'em that's all."
"When I saw this, first thing this morning, it was very emotional." said Susan Byram, the CEO of Autism Pensacola.
She gave McKnight a big hug and a pin as she thanked him for the team's efforts.
"It's just so important and touching to me that they left our website and our information about autism so that everyone could share that awareness as well as get to know the Ravens, our minor league football team," Byram said.
McKnight invited Byram, some of her volunteers and the folks they help to Saturday's game and offered them a special discount.
Information on the game can be found here, and information on Autism Pensacola can be found here.