LA CROSSE, WI (WKBT) -

Area residents are braving the cold too help children with special needs.

More than 270 people took part in the third annual Puzzled Classic at Myrick Park in La Crosse on Saturday.

The run is sponsored by the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation, and raises money and awareness for families affected by autism.

Organizers say they hope to raise more than $6,000 from the race.

At the the run the Autism Foundation announced it will be taking over the annual Chileda Classic.

Organizers from Chileda planned  to discontinue the run next year, but say they're happy the run will continue to help area families in need.  

"We are so excited to see the race will continue. We were concerned of course that the race was going to end and in particular the autism awareness piece was going to end," said Chileda President Ruth Wiseman.

The Autism Foundation says combining the two runs is a collaboration between the two organizations. 

"Chileda and L.A.F are hand-in-hand working for the same goal, helping kids and families affected by autism," said Adam WissenBerger, board member for the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation.

The inaugural Puzzle Classic is scheduled for July 5 during La Crosse's annual Riverfest.