The Eagles' next opponent at the Linc: Autism

Andrew Kramer
May 17, 2019 - 9:36 pm

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Eagles Autism Challenge is back for a second year.

The official kickoff party was held Friday night and on Saturday morning 3,500 people will walk, run or ride their bikes to raise money for autism research.

Eagles players will be there on Saturday, and they won't just be watching from the sidelines.

"We have over 30 of our players riding 15 miles," said Ryan Hammond, the event's executive director. "Coach (Doug) Pederson, he's awesome, he actually gets them all hype about doing it because we're all in this together and we are just committed to changing lives."

Last year's inaugural event raised $2.5 million. 

“And we are today at over $3 million that we raised this year," said Hammond. "I will just say in the words of coach Pederson, 'we are not done yet.’”

Eric and Terry Kane they will be walking and biking for their daughter, who has autism.

"We are huge Eagles fans, so the combination was perfect for us," said Terry.

"Oh it's great to see (the players)," added Eric. "They mix in with us, shake our hands, you just get that moment in the sun with them, it makes you feel good, they're great guys."

Then there's the participants like Ben Hartranft, who is on the spectrum, representing himself.

"Because I want to help people with autism and take autism to action," he said. "Having autism isn't a bad thing and it doesn't characterize who we are."

Whether you're biking or taking part in the 5K, everything ends in the middle of the field at Lincoln Financial Field.

You can more information about Saturday's challenge at EaglesAutismChallenge.org/event/.