Over three hours Aug. 26, students and instructors at Perdue's Westerville Taekwondo broke 560 boards, all in an effort to raise money to fight autism.

Over three hours Aug. 26, students and instructors at Perdue's Westerville Taekwondo broke 560 boards, all in an effort to raise money to fight autism.

In all, the martial artists raised $8,000 for Autism Speaks during the "Break-a-Thon," for which they collected pledges for each board broken.

Perdue's manager Stacy Morgan said the school was inspired to host the fifth break-a-thon in its 16-year history because of the many students with autism it sees.

"We've done break-a-thons before, and the kids love it. It's a fun way for them to raise money," Morgan said. "We have a lot of students who have some form of autism, so we just felt it was the right thing to do."

Owner Dave Perdue said he wanted to find a way to help the families in his school who deal with autism.

"This is a way for us to give back to the kids, adults and their families that are affected by autism in our community because they need our help," he said. "I have been teaching children for over 20 years, and every year, I personally see more kids with autism. There is a problem."

The break-a-thon provided participating students with free food. Those who raised more than $50 received a free T-shirt, thanks to donations from local corporate sponsors JesterZnet@Media, Bryant Heating and Cooling Systems, Bennett Systems, Dr. Nieman DDS, MACHO, the Columbus Crew, Delivery Partners, Caf Courier, JC Manny and Polaris Wellness, as well as donations from two local families.

"One-hundred percent of what the kids brought in went to the cause," Morgan said.

The Buck I Guy also brought his Buckeye-themed car to the event and posed for pictures in exchange for donations.

"It was just a lot of fun. Everyone had a lot of fun," she said.