“Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism” Awards Reception
Today, April 1, Lindt & Sprüngli, the world’s leading producer of premium chocolate, and Autism Speaks kicked off Autism Awareness Month with an event at the New York Palace Hotel, honoring and recognizing three “Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism.” This year marks the second anniversary of the “Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism” recognition program honoring ordinary individuals who are extraordinary champions for autism awareness and acceptance in their family, home and community. The winning “Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism” were announced and awarded $5,000 toward their efforts in support of the cause:
o Lisa Lane of Greenville, S.C. helped to establish the Project HOPE Foundation to serve those affected by autism following the diagnosis of her son with autism in 1996. Lane has been instrumental in the development and growth of Hope Academy, an inclusion-based non-profit school, and Hope Reach, a provider of intensive one-on-one therapy, identifying and filling needs for not only her son, but the autism community in her area. Autism is, Lane says, ”when we experience the unexpected,” borrowing from a recent Lindt product launch campaign.
o Elizabeth Ritchie of Knoxville, Tenn., mother of twin sons diagnosed with autism 20 years ago, has a strong passion for helping educate others about autism and is responsible for securing several grants for autism research and education in her community. As her sons grew up, Elizabeth was instrumental in the development of several school programs, as well as the Camp Koinonia Foundation and Breakthrough Corporation to meet the needs of individuals with autism in her community.
o Elizabeth Scheinberg of Newark, Del. founded “The Merry Otters,” a club that provides free recreational swimming and social events for families affected by autism. As the silent auction committee chair, she has helped raise more than $60,000 for her local autism support organization. In 2009, she was elected to the Christina School District’s Board of Education, as a champion for all children and their educators. Elizabeth intends to donate her winnings to provide water safety skills training for the children with autism in “The Merry Otters” program.
For more information on “Lindt’s Unsung Heroes of Autism” program or Autism Speaks and Autism Awareness Month, please visit http://www.lindtgoldbunny.com/ or http://www.autismspeaks.org/. Please also visit the Lindt celebrity-autographed bunny auction to benefit Autism Speaks.
View photos from this, and other, World Autism Awareness Day celebrations and events.