CHICAGO — Autism advocates marched along the lakefront for the annual Autism Speaks Walk Saturday.

Three thousand strong stepped up and spoke out  to help raise awareness and funds.

Starting out from Soldier Field, walkers began the 3-mile journey along the lake.

With Saturday’s walk and another walk Sunday in Wheaton, supporters hope to raise $650,000 for research and advocacy to support the needs of people with autism and their families.