JOPLIN, Mo. — Hundreds came out to walk and run this morning to support autism services in Joplin.

Today was the 15th annual Freeman 5k and Walk for Autism at the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism.

The run is benefitting the center, which provides services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder.

All the money raised from today’s event will provide scholarships for its day treatment program for kids ages two to seven.

“Fundraising is always something that we value here. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. It’s also an event for the community to it promotes autism acceptance. and people can just come out and have a good time,” said Edie Spera, Director of Clinical Services at the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism.

“I have a second year medical student friend who has a son who was recently diagnosed with autism. So all of us kind of together to show our support and raise more awareness and money for autism research,” said Steven Scheitt, KCU-Joplin student, 5k second place finisher.

The center helps 80 people a week with its services.

Everyone who finished the race received a medal.

Families could also meet superheroes and enter to win raffle baskets.