Wauconda business owners, teachers and librarians will promote autism awareness next week with a host of local promotions.
Throughout the week, several restaurants and merchants will donate a percentage of proceeds to the Autism Speaks foundation.
Additionally, discussions about the disorder are planned for Wauconda High School and the Wauconda Area Library.
The events coincide with the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday.
"We're trying to raise awareness, educate and raise money for the foundation," said Jackie Gumkowski, the Volo woman who's organized the campaign.
To participate in the restaurant or retail promotions, you need to show a coupon available at spots throughout Wauconda or a copy of this article.
Among the scheduled restaurant and retail participants:
• Lindy's Landing, 115 Park St., will donate 10 percent of the value of your bill to the foundation, as many times as you want through Friday.
• JJ Twigs Pizza, 1200 N. Old Rand Road, will donate 15 percent of your bill to the foundation on Tuesday or Wednesday.
• Bliss Wine and Gifts, 201 S. Main St., will donate 10 percent of the value of your purchase to the foundation Wednesday.
• Slyce Coal Fired Pizza, 127 N. Main St., will donate $1.75 to the foundation anytime someone orders pizza with pepperoni on Thursday.
Other businesses are participating, too.
Additionally, at Tuesday's village board meeting, Mayor Frank Bart is scheduled to sign a proclamation recognizing April as Autism Awareness Month.
Autism awareness is an issue that strikes a chord for Bart, who has an autistic nephew.
"I think it's important for people to understand, so they treat him fairly," Bart said.
Also, Wauconda Unit District 118 grade school teachers will talk about autism Wednesday. And a bake sale to benefit the foundation is planned for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Wauconda Area Library, 801 N. Main St.
Wauconda Trustee Linda Starkey said the town's community spirit is evident in how it rallies around causes like this.
"We're a very charitable community," she said. "I think that's what makes Wauconda special."