PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB CARROLL

High school runner is paying it forward



PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB CARROLL

Mount Desert Island High School senior Chris Heel at the Kaufman 5K in Ellsworth Saturday. He’s organizing an autism awareness walk Sunday in Northeast Harbor.

MOUNT DESERT — Mount Desert Island High School student Chris Heel knows a thing or two about living with disability, and also about running, and bringing people together. For his senior exhibition project, he has been combining these skills to organize an Autism Awareness Walk set for this Sunday, May 4 in Northeast Harbor.

The two-mile walk is set to begin at 2 p.m., with registration beginning at 12:30. A suggested donation of $12 benefits autism research. The first 200 participants will receive a t-shirt from the event.

Heel, who himself has mild to moderate autism, is set to graduate this year. “He’s such a hard worker,” said high school activities director Bunky Dow. “He has a handicap he deals with daily, but he’s got a good support group in place. He’s very dedicated and devoted, and that shows both in his academics and his racing results.”

Heel has been a member of the cross-country team his whole high school career, and continued his running career in community races.

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Liz Graves is managing editor of the Islander. She's a California native who came to Maine as a schooner sailor.[email protected]om