Max Moore has crossed the finish line to make a difference.
The nine-year-old from East Elmhurst put on his running shoes to run in the June 30 Achilles International Hope and Possibility Five Mile Race in Central Park for the second time. This year, the youth raised $1,279 in funds online, surpassing his goal of $1,000. He ran to increase awareness for the Art Access Autism Initiatives at the Queens Museum.
“We are extremely proud of him and thrilled we can help to support such an amazing program,” said father John Moore.
Max, who is autistic himself, has been involved in the Art Access Autism Initiatives for over a year. According to his parents, the program has served as both a great social and artistic experience, allowing Max to get creative along with his family and other participants at the museum.
“The gifted people that work with the kids are always so engaged, talented and truly [invested] in the kids in the program,” said Moore.
This year Max beat his best time and finished the race in one hour and one minute. He ran alongside his dad and Marissa Fong, a guide provided by Achilles Kids, a non-profit organization that provides training and racing opportunities for children with disabilities. Max has participated in Achilles Kids’ running program for over two years.
“They all really take the time to get to know the boys and girls that are involved,” said Moore. “They knew to pair someone quick and fit with Max because they really know Max – what motivates him, what excites him, what engages him, his challenges and his triumphs.”
His dad and mom, Jacqueline, said they do not know for sure whether Max will continue participating in the race, but added they certainly hope he will. They said he takes a great deal of pride and joy in his running experience, and gets excited days ahead of his weekend runs with Achilles.
“The infectious nature of his enthusiasm affects the whole family, and we can’t say enough about how constructive and positive an experience [it] has been for all of us,” said Moore.