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      Autism awareness flies high via balloon

      A red balloon with a special note on it from over 100 miles away touched down in a Kirksville woman??s lawn asking her to help spread awareness about autism.

      Pamela Smith, the owner of the New Beginnings Mission in Kirksville, described the day she found the note.

      "I came down from the backyard, and there was a balloon right here," said Smith. "It was still up, but it was caught on the snow so I picked it up, and this was on it so I went back in the house, and I called the lady."

      The lady Smith is referring to is Maryville 4th grade teacher, Penni Fox. Fox and her 4th grade classroom sent out over 100 balloons with contact information and a bit about why they were sending the balloons out.

      ??I am so thrilled when someone just sends me a text and says they found one," said Fox. "Miss Pamela, she's just on a mission, and it is something that I could have never imagined.??

      In the case of Pamela Smith, the 4th graders' plan worked.

      "I've been wanting to help do fundraiser or anything to help these children," said Smith. "I am now able to help these children."

      Smith hopes that others will get involved, too.

      "If anybody finds a balloon or any kind of thing that comes from any other town pick it up call the people and get aware of this," said Smith.