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Frequently Asked Questions

Steps of Hope 2018 Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I expect at Steps of Hope 2018?
Steps of Hope is a fun way to support individuals, families, educators, and professionals touched by autism. All proceeds go directly to enhancing the programs and services offered through the Autism Society of Minnesota.

Southdale Center hosts the kid-friendly walk before the stores open on Sunday morning. The morning will start with registration and then the AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra, a measured fast walk for kids and adults, will take place at 9:15 a.m. After the AuSM Flash Dash, walkers will proceed to the state's largest autism resource fair on the second floor. Walk at your own pace. There will be snacks and a maybe chance to meet a super hero! Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., and the walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. Steps of Hope will end with a rally on the first floor at 10:45 a.m.

How do I set up a team?
Visit www.SOHwalk.org and click on “register”. You can register yourself, or your whole family! This year, AuSM is using the fundraising platform RunSignUp. You simply have to provide us with some registration information and your fundraising page is created! You can add pictures, text, videos, and more to help your family and friends see why you love AuSM. If you have any questions about setting up your page, contact AuSM’s Hero Helper, Olivia James, at 651.647.1083 ext. 23 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How can I raise money?
Send your family and friends to your fundraising page online or gather donations in check or cash form. Let's work together to meet the goal of $45,000. Inspire your family, friends, co-workers, friends, book club, school district, and more to join your Steps of Hope 2018 team. Set a goal and support each other to meet it. Connect with your networks via Facebook, our Steps of Hope homepage, Twitter, phone and face-to-face. AuSM is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. Let your donors know they should be sure to indicate your team name on the donations form so your team gets the credit.

What if my supporters want a receipt for their donations?
You can complete a receipt for your supporters' records. Click here to download the Steps of Hope 2018 Donations Receipt.

Where is Southdale Center?
Southdale Center is located at 10 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435. Southdale Center is located south of Crosstown between France Ave. S. and York Ave. For additional information about the mall, please call 952.926.2268 or click here to visit their website.

What if there is bad weather?
AuSM plans to hold Steps of Hope 2018, snow or shine! In the event of inclement weather, please call the Autism Society of Minnesota at 651.647.1083 or visit our website for updated information. A snow date is not planned.

I'm coming from out of town. Where can I stay?
If you need hotel accommodations while you attend Steps of Hope 2018, please contact Monika Kopet, AuSM Event Specialist, at 651.647.1083 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a special reduced rate. The Marriot Residence Inn Minneapolis-Edina is offering a reduced rate for Steps of Hope walkers on Saturday, March 3. The Residence Inn is located at 3400 Edinborough Way, Edina, MN 55435, south of Southdale Center and north of 494 between France and Xerxes Avenues. The Steps of Hope rate is based on availability.

Where should I park?
Individual walkers and teams should enter Southdale Center at entrance 16 on the southeast side of the mall, between Rojo Mexican Grill and Herberger’s.

Will there be a place to store our coats?
AuSM will check your coat for a donation. Coats must be claimed by 11 a.m. or they will be left unattended at Guest Service at the mall.

Will there be refreshments?
You bet! Our committee is working to identify sponsors willing to donate food and beverages for the walk.

How long is the walk?
The AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra follows the perimeter of the lower level of Southdale Center, and is short enough for all ages and abilities. Steps of Hope is not a measured walk and participants proceed at their own pace throughout the upper level of Southdale Center. Rollerblades, skateboards, roller shoes and bikes are not allowed in Southdale Center.

Is it OK to bring my dog to Steps of Hope 2018?
Your service dog is welcome at Southdale Center. Domestic animals are not allowed in the mall.

Do I have to go through check in onsite?
Yes. Everyone must pass through onsite check in/registration. Our volunteers will work hard to make your check in quick and easy. At the check in tables we will accept your donations, ask you to sign a release for Southdale Center, and provide you with a coupon to redeem your Love Your Melon/AuSM beanie (if you've earned a minimum of $125). Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota T-shirts will be for sale at AuSM's merchandise tables on the first floor.

What if I can’t attend Steps of Hope 2018, but I collected donations?
We appreciate your efforts and support. Please mail your donations to the Autism Society of Minnesota at 2380 Wycliff St., #102, St. Paul, MN 55114. You also can click here to donate online.

If you have additional questions, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 651.653.1083.