Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that the fourth annual Treasure Coast Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on April 21 at Riverside Park in Vero Beach.
All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks’ work, both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about the growing autism health crisis, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in Treasure Coast and beyond.
Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Last year’s Treasure Coast Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted more than 2,000 walkers and raised over $70,000. Autism Speaks has made a significant impact in the Treasure Coast area.
In addition to its national efforts, the organization has provided funding for local services, including summer camps; safety and autism experience assistance as well as outreach to underserved communities through its Family Services Community Grant program.
Autism Speaks science grants have supported research at Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Miami totaling over 3.4 million dollars.
Walk Now for Autism Speaks offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a two- to three-mile Walk and Community Resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities – a true “one-stop-shop” for families affected by autism.
“Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks event has grown each year, and we expect to expand the ranks of both walkers and donors in 2012,” said Steve Owen II, Walk chair. “In addition to raising funds and awareness, the Walk is a chance for families to come together and enjoy a day of laughter, hope and community. Working together, we are making great strides toward improving the lives of people with autism and their families.”
For the sixth straight year, Toys”R”Us® and Babies”R”Us® will proudly serve as the North American sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Additional sponsors include South Florida Ford, George E. Warren Corp. and Ace Hardware of Vero Beach. Geoffrey the Giraffe, the company mascot for Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us will appear at select Walk locations. Attendees can sign their children up for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club, pick-up the “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” handout and see this selection of everyday toys that can help build skills of children with autism, created in collaboration with Autism Speaks.
For more information about the 2012 Treasure Coast Walk Now for Autism Speaks, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/treasurecoast or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 110 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks’ Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light It Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council has received over $316 million in donated media. Autism Speaks’ family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a Grandparent’s Guide to Autism, and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 29 states thus far, with legislation continuing to advance in more states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 85 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
For more information about the walk contact:
Elizabeth Boyd (941) 258-4059; email@example.com
Vanthan Abernathy (404) 821-3025; firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: CYNTHIA FALARDEAU