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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!

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