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Build-A-Bear Workshop Accepting Nominations for Huggable Heroes

February 21, 2012 2 comments

Build-A-Bear Workshop, one of our wonderful corporate sponsors, is accepting nominations for its ninth annual Huggable Heroes program that recognizes young heroes in local communities.

Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 27 throughout the country. Build-A-Bear is looking for kids who provide extraordinary service to their communities.

Candidates must be between the ages of eight and 18. Ten kids will be selected as Huggable Heroes and earn a trip to Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters in St. Louis.

Each Huggable Heroe also receives a $7,500 scholarship and $2,500 to donate to a charity of their choice.

To nominate someone for the Huggable Heroes program, go to buildabear.com/huggableheroes or pick up an entry form at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores.

Scentsy raises funds and awareness for Autism Speaks

September 29, 2011 5 comments

On Thursday, September 29, Autism Speaks received a visit from two special guests who travelled all the way from Idaho. Heidi and Orville Thompson, Co-owners of Scentsy, a rapidly growing party plan company offering a variety of home fragrance products, stopped by to present a check from sales of its Autism Speaks themed ‘Piece by Piece’ Charitable Cause Warmer for an amazing $533,880!

Twice a year, with the help of its Independent Consultants, Scentsy chooses a new cause to support. The Scentsy Consultants, many of whom have personal connections to autism, selected Autism Speaks as one of this year’s causes. As part of the campaign, Scentsy designed the ‘Piece by Piece’ Charitable Cause Warmer, adorned with colorful jigsaw pieces, to honor the mission of Autism Speaks. From April through August, one hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of each Charitable Cause Warmer went to support Autism Speaks. Thanks to the efforts of Scentsy and its 100,000 Independent Consultants, the campaign helped raise awareness around the country and much needed funds for the countless families affected by autism.

During their visit, Heidi and Orville were joined by two local Independent Consultants who took part in the campaign. The group toured Autism Speaks and met with staff. The day culminated with the check presentation ceremony and remarks by Heidi, Orville and Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr on the importance of supporting the autism community and overwhelming success of the Scentsy campaign. We’d like to extend our gratitude to all of our friends at Scentsy. It was truly a great day for both organizations!

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Calling All Cravers!

July 22, 2011 3 comments

Calling all Cravers!  White Castle will begin selling puzzle pieces for $1.00 to benefit Autism Speaks in all of their restaurant locations beginning Sunday, July 24 through Saturday, August 20.  Restaurants are located in the following states/regions:  Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Northeast Ohio, Nashville, New Jersey, New York and St. Louis.

White Castle team members raised $500,000 for Autism Speaks in 2011 so be sure to visit your local Castle often to purchase a puzzle piece.  The best way to support the campaign is to provide your feedback to White Castle thanking them for their support of our urgent mission.  You can do this via the White Castle Facebook page, 800 number (1-800-THE CRAVE) or through the White Castle website.  You can also call your local Castle directly, their number is located at the bottom of your register receipt.

We need your help!  White Castle is celebrating their 90th anniversary this year and Autism Speaks is invited to join the party!  We are looking to recognize White Castle in a big way!  As you enjoy your meal at White Castle please take a photo of you and your family at the Castle purchasing a puzzle piece.  Email your photo to columbus@autismspeaks.org and be sure to include the restaurant location.

Thank you in advance for your support of this campaign!  Crave on!

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on his NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Win

June 20, 2011 2 comments

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin for claiming his first victory of the season in Sunday’s Heluva Good! 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Denny was able to hold off Matt Kenseth, crossing the finish line a mere .281 seconds ahead! Way to go Denny!

Click here for more on the Heluva Good! NASCAR Sprint Cup Race.

Denny Hamlin  piloted the No. 11 FedEx Autism Speaks Toyota at the FedEx Autism Speaks 400. and you can check out his Die-Cast Car here!

The FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks delivers

May 26, 2011 1 comment

It’s been a couple of weeks since the “FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks,” but we’re still feeling the love from our friends in NASCAR community.  The race weekend, May 13-15, was an overwhelming success thanks to our partners at FedEx, Dover International Speedway and Dollar General.  Here’s a recap in case you missed all of the excitement on TV.

On Friday, May 13, Autism Speaks rolled into Dover International Speedway ready to raise funds and spread autism awareness.  Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr kicked off the day with a live interview on the SiriusXM radio show “The Morning Drive.”  Roithmayr and host Mike Bagley discussed Sunday’s Sprint Series race and the ways NASCAR fans can help raise autism awareness.  Later in the day, Mark was joined by FedEx No. 11 Toyota driver Denny Hamlin for a press conference at the speedway’s media center.  In addition to featuring a special Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo schemed car, FedEx would donate $100,000 Autism Speaks if Hamlin won the race.  Following the press conference,  Red Horse Racing Competition Director Terry Cook treated everyone to a tour of the truck series team’s trailer.  Terry and his wife are wonderful autism advocates within NASCAR community.  A special thanks to Terry and the Red Horse Racing team for featuring theAutism Speaks puzzle piece logo on the hood of their No. 17 truck.

Saturday began with another Mark Roithmayr radio interview on SiriusXM radio, followed by a check presentation ceremony with our friends at Dollar General prior to the start of the Nationwide Series race.  Rick Dreiling, CEO of Dollar General, Reed Sorenson, driver of the Dollar General No. 32 Chevy and his crew chief Trent Owens, who is a parent and autism advocate, presented Autism Speaks with a check for an amazing $1,193,256.  In an effort to raise funds for the autism community, in April, Dollar General partnered with Autism Speaks for a month long fundraising campaign and Reed’s No. 32 Chevy was adorned with theAutism Speaks puzzle piece logo, helping to spread autism awareness from racetrack-to-racetrack throughout Autism Awareness Month.  Late Saturday afternoon, Jacob Boenizi, a special guest of FedEx and Autism Speaks arrived in Dover.  After his mom posted o nAutism Speaks’ Facebook page that Jacob, an 11 year old on the spectrum from Mesa, AZ, was a huge NASCAR and Denny Hamlin fan, he was invited by FedEx to serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s Sprint Series race.

Sunday…Sunday…Sunday. Sprint Cup Series race day!  All of the families who were guests of Autism Speaks received a special treat courtesy of FedEx.  They met with driver Denny Hamlin in the FedEx suite prior to the start of the race. Denny took time out of his busy schedule to sign autographs and take pictures with all of the kids, including his biggest fan, Jacob.  In addition to hanging out with Denny, Jacob went on a tour of pit row and met NFL legend Joe Gibbs.  Shortly thereafter, Denny joined Mark Roithmayr for a live pre-race interview on the SPEED channel to talk about NASCAR’s commitment to autism awareness.  While walking back from the interview, it was wonderful to see almost every car lined up in pit row featuring an Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo  –  a heartfelt show of support from the NASCAR community.

Time for the start of the big race.  Jacob joined Mark onstage for driver the introductions, where they met NASCAR hall of famer Bobby Allison, and greeted the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Denny Hamlin also presented Autism Speaks with a check for $50,000 from FedEx to goes towards vital research and advocacy initiatives.  As grand marshal, Jacob was given the special honor of announcing “gentleman start your engines” prior to the start of the race.  Standing before thousands of fans and on live national television, the young fan from Mesa nailed it, spurring a huge ovation from crowd.  It was truly an inspiring moment for everyone in attendance to hear Jacob says those words with such determination and confidence. He was the perfect ambassador for the autism community. Be sure to see for yourself:

Although Denny Hamlin didn’t win (Matt Kenseth finished first), the Sprint Cup Series race was a huge success thanks to FedEx, Dover International Speedway and all of our friends at NASCAR who worked hard throughout the weekend to bring attention to the needs of families and individuals affected by autism.  Thanks to everyone’s efforts, a message of understanding and hope prevailed in Doverand was broadcasted by FOX on televisions across the country.  In addition, a young NASCAR fan on the spectrum was given the experience of a lifetime.  You couldn’t ask for a better finish when the checkered flag finally waved, signaling the end of a memorable weekend.

We snapped plenty of pictures from the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. To view them, visit the Autism Speaks Facebook page.

Tune In: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday, May 15

May 14, 2011 7 comments

On May 15, NASCAR comes to Dover International Speedway! Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks starts at 1 p.m. EST on Fox. Look out for the #11 FedEx/Autism Speaks car driven by Denny Hamlin. If he wins, FedEx donates an additional $100,000 to Autism Speaks! Check local listings for time and channel in your area.

The #11 FedEx Toyota Camry NASCAR Sprint Car

It’s Not Too Late To Light It Up Blue with The Home Depot

April 21, 2011 2 comments

There is still time to celebrate Autism Awareness Month and Light It Up Blue! Join in the festivities and head to The Home Depot to purchase your very own blue light bulbs and lanterns while they are still available!

Autism Speaks and The Home Depot® have partnered to shine a light on autism during Autism Awareness Month in April. The Home Depot is selling blue Coleman LED lanterns and blue light bulbs, offering people across the country the opportunity to raise autism awareness through Autism Speaks’ Light it Up Blue initiative. A portion of each sale will go to Autism Speaks to fund research, advocacy, family services, and awareness for families struggling with this disorder.

For more information about our partnership, visit here!

etnies Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

April 7, 2011 2 comments

On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, etnies, Autism Speaks and the A.skate Foundation held a day of free skate clinics for kids on the autism spectrum at the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, Calif. With the help of more than 40 volunteers, including etnies team riders Jose Rojo, Kyle Leeper, Devine Calloway, Kyle Loza, Nathan Williams and Ashley Charles, 80 children with autism of all ages were provided with one-on-one skateboarding lessons, which serve as a unique social outlet for kids who often struggle with social interaction. Check out the etnies blog for more video and read coverage of the the event from Transworld Skateboarding and LakeForestPatch.

Here are some photos from the event!


Video Footage!

Face-Off for a Cure

March 23, 2011 7 comments

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On Monday March 21st, over 450 guests came together at the spectacular Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to celebrate “Face-Off for a Cure: An Evening to Benefit Autism Speaks and The Gillen Brewer School” – an event in partnership with the National Hockey League.

The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction in the museum’s Great Hall, with guests bidding on items such as tickets to the 2012 Winter Classic, a jersey signed by dozens of NHL Alum players, and an All-Star branded hockey puck, signed by Rick Nash, #61. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman posed for photos with such hockey greats as Pat LaFontaine and Ken Daneyko, as well as Coach Scott Wiley of the Colgate Women’s Hockey Team.  After cocktails guests moved into the awe-inspiring Temple of Dedur in the Sackler Wing, where the light of the setting sun was simulated on the temple walls, and guests gathered to hear remarks by event emcee, NBC Nightly News Correspondent Peter Alexander.

The evening’s honorees, Frank D’Amelio, EVP, Business Operations & Chief Financial Officer, Pfizer; Brian Monihan, Senior Vice President & General Manger, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia; Andrew Robertson, President, Chief Executive Officer BBDO Worldwide; and Richard Segal, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Seavest, Inc., each addressed the crowd with mentions of their own personal relationships to autism and philanthropy. The night’s end brought a special surprise for the audience- a visit from Lord Stanley himself- The Stanley Cup- after which guests had an opportunity to make pledges towards two specific programs for Autism Speaks and The Gillen Brewer School. Face Off for a Cure raised over $1.1 million and counting.

Autism Speaks would like to thank our event Co-Chairs, Henry Schacht, Chairman, The Gillen Brewer School; Tim Solso, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.; Gary Bettman, Commissioner, National Hockey League; Paul Tagliabue, Former Commissioner, National Football League; and Suzanne & Bob Wright, Founders of Autism Speaks.  We would also like to recognize our friends at the Gillen Brewer School, the NHL, the evening’s honorees, special guests and our many wonderful sponsors and patrons who supported Face Off for a Cure to make it a resounding success.

For additional coverage of the event, please visit The Wall Street Journal.


Autism Speaks and The Home Depot Team Up to Shine a Light on Autism

March 21, 2011 58 comments

Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, and The Home Depot® have partnered to shine a light on autism during Autism Awareness Month in April and World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. The Home Depot, the largest distributor of Coleman products, will sell blue Coleman LED lanterns and blue light bulbs starting mid-March, offering people across the country the opportunity to raise autism awareness through Autism Speaks’ Light it Up Blue initiative. A portion of each sale will go to Autism Speaks to fund research, advocacy, family services, and awareness for families struggling with this disorder.

“The Home Depot and Coleman have become critical partners in Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign,” said Pat Kemp, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President – Marketing, Corporate Relations and Development. “We can now encourage all Americans, whether they are touched by autism or not, to join the campaign on April 1 and 2 to show their compassion for families facing this disorder by lighting up their homes blue.”

The light bulbs retail for $1.65, and $1 from each one purchased, up to $80,000, will benefit Autism Speaks. The Coleman LED lanterns retail at $19.88 and $2 from each, up to $160,000, will go to Autism Speaks. The lantern alternates from white to blue when illuminated. The Home Depot arranged for the specially marked Light It Up Blue Coleman products to be manufactured and distributed throughout all of their stores in the United States and will be available in stores from March 15 through the end of April or while supplies last.

The Light It Up Blue campaign, now in its second year, has garnered the support of over 300 iconic buildings and landmarks across the globe that will illuminate their structures in bright blue on the evening of April 1 and 2 in an effort to help raise awareness and shine a bright light on autism as a growing public health crisis.

Autism Speaks has a special Web site, www.lightitupblue.org, to highlight the campaign. The Light It Up Blue Web site provides unique and fun ideas about how people can get involved in their local community, from hosting autism-themed gatherings to viewings of autism-themed films and TV programs. The site also accepts donations to fund autism awareness and research efforts.

For more information about the partnership between Autism Speaks and The Home Depot, please visit here!

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*For anyone having difficulty finding bulbs*
Call your local Home Depot Lighting & Electrical department, ask if they have them. If they do not, ask if the associate can look up what stores in your area still have stock and give the SKU. The SKU # is 625677 for the blue light bulbs.


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