Rainbow Day of racing for Port Stephens Yacht Club to raise awareness for autism

COLOURFUL: Clare Pearson with her son Lachlan, 8. Mrs Pearson has organised a Rainbow Day to raise awareness for autism. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

COLOURFUL: Clare Pearson with her son Lachlan, 8. Mrs Pearson has organised a Rainbow Day to raise awareness for autism. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Port Stephens Yacht Club’s regular Saturday race will be a lot brighter this week.

Yachts will be flying rainbow flags and the crews dressed up in an array of colours for the second annual Rainbow Day.

Rainbow Day, an initiate of yacht club member Clare Pearson, aims to raise awareness about autism and funds for Tomaree Education Centre’s special education unit.

Mrs Pearson is a mother to an 8-year-old son, Lachlan, who has autism.

“Raising awareness and acceptance of people living with autism is a passion of mine because I have a son with autism,” she said.

“But also because autism isn’t a visual disability. It’s hard to pick up if a child is autistic or not.

“Events like this get people talking about it, asking what autism is and what the signs are.”

Rainbow Day is held in April, during Autism Awareness Month.

Last year’s event raised $1250 for Tomaree Education Centre, which has gone toward its fund-raising efforts to install a playground in the special education unit.

Money raised from this year’s Rainbow Day will also go towards the playground project.

ALL SMILES: Lachlan Pearson, 8, is the inspiration behind Rainbow Day. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

ALL SMILES: Lachlan Pearson, 8, is the inspiration behind Rainbow Day. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

All members of the community are invited to head along to Soldiers Point boat ramp on Saturday and watch the racing, which starts at noon.

There will be raffles and after the racing a barbecue will be held at the yacht club, near Soldiers Point Marina. 

The barbecue is a gold coin donation.

Mrs Pearson said the turnout to last year’s Rainbow Day was “amazing” and hoped more members of the community would get involved this year.

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