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Fighting autism at Jonny & Xena’s Festival

Free pet adoptions part of the fun



SUWANEE, Ga. – A boy and his dog plan to change the world, and you can be a part of it at the third annual Jonny & Xena Spread the Words 5k, Fun Run, Walk and Festival. Geico is the presenting sponsor for the fun at Suwanee’s Town Center Park beginning Saturday morning Oct. 28.

The whole family can enjoy a day of fun that benefits the local special needs community, including autism programs, and animal rescue. Both causes are near and dear to the organizers and namesakes of the festival.

In addition to the run and walk events, more than 20 local animal rescue groups will be on hand with free adoptable pets (with approved applications).

Well-behaved, leashed furry family members are welcome, too. You can even get pets microchipped on site.

Xena’s own favorite trainer, Trainer Alex from Peach on a Leash, will be on hand to answer all of your dog training questions.

The event features vendors, a silent auction, music from the Brookwood Elementary School Chorus and a huge blow-up slide for the kids.

Grown-ups, registered participants age 21 and older, will receive a free mixed drink courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Jonny and Xena’s journey began a neglected pup, clinging to life by a thread, was found in a Decatur yard. After months of rehabilitation, she found herself in the home of a young boy with autism.

In Xena, Jonny found a friend, a companion and a therapist all wrapped up in a furry brown package. Now they’re “spreading the words” and making a difference in the lives of both humans and animals.

The fun begins with on-site registration at 8 a.m. Oct. 28 at Town Center Park in Suwanee at 330 Town Center Avenue. The 5K/walk begins at 9 a.m., the fun run at 10. The entire festival happens between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Register for the race early and save $5. For more information, contact Linda Hickey, president, at or call 770-851-1266.

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