We are thrilled to announced that Theta Delta Chi, one of the nation’s oldest college fraternities, has selected Autism Speaks as its national official philanthropy. The partnership between Autism Speaks and Theta Delta Chi will engage the thirty-three Theta Delta Chi chapters on college campuses nationwide in autism awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts as part of our Autism Speaks U college program. Autism Speaks U is an initiative that engages college students in their efforts to support Autism Speaks. Since its inception in 2008, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million for Autism Speaks research and advocacy efforts. There are more than 45 Autism Speaks U chapters on college campuses nationwide.
We are extremely grateful to Theta Delta Chi for partnering with Autism Speaks. With the support of its members, autism awareness will continue to grow on college campuses throughout the country. Theta Delta Chi is the second collegiate society to partner with Autism Speaks through its Autism Speaks U program. In 2009, Alpha Xi Delta sorority selected Autism Speaks as its national philanthropic partner. Since the partnership was established, Alpha Xi Delta’s 120 collegiate chapters have raised over $625,000 for Autism Speaks.
For more information, click here to read the press release.
In April 2009, Alpha Xi Delta, one of the nation’s oldest women’s fraternities, officially partnered with Autism Speaks. The sorority and its more than 135,000 members have worked tirelessly to raise autism awareness and financial support for Autism Speaks. For more about the philanthropic efforts of Alpha Xi Delta for Autism Speaks, head over to their official website.
During the week of September 27 through October 2, 2010, the Theta Rho Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta held their 1st Annual AmaXIng Challenge Autism Awareness week at California State University, San Marcos. In an effort to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks, the sisters of Theta Rho recruited 11 student organizations to compete for the title of Xi Champions. Throughout the week teams participated in various challenges including a “Penny Wars” team coin drive. Participants also recruited fellow students, staff, and faculty of CSUSM to participate in the Step It Up Campus Walk for Autism kickoff event and recruited family and friends to attend the Spaghetti Dinner and Basket Auction & Raffle Night, the last event of the week. Special Event Guests included Dr. Eloise Stiglitz, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dilcie Perez, Director of Student Life & Leadership, Julie Mattingly, CSUSM Greek Advisor, Kay Curry, Walk Chair for the San Diego Walk for Autism, Daniel Lightfoot, Director of the Autism Tissue Program and affiliate of Autism Speaks, and Krystal Langford and Michael Robinson, Autism Speaks representatives. Congratulations to Team Lions, on your new title as the 2010 XI Champions!
Approximately 150 people participated in the Step It Up Campus Walk for Autism, and more than 300 guests attended the Spaghetti Dinner and Basket Auction & Raffle Night helping the Theta Rho Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta raise awareness and more than $6500.00 for Autism Speaks! On Saturday, October 2, 2010, Michelle Vogel and Donna Loya, event coordinators of Theta Rho’s AmaXIng Challenge Week of Autism Awareness presented Ms. Kay Curry, the San Diego Walk Chair and Mr. Brian Han, the Southern California Director for Autism Speaks a check for all the funds raised throughout the week of AmaXIng Challenge.
In addition to funds donated to Autism Speaks, through the efforts of many Theta Rho sisters, over $6,300.00 in goods and services were donated to the chapter to help them host a successful event. Donations included items such as drinks and lunches for all Step It Up Walk participants, gift certificates and gift baskets for the basket auction and raffle, and spaghetti, breadsticks and salad for the night of Spaghetti dinner. The support from the local community was excitingly overwhelming. Without the help of many generous donors, Theta Rho’s AmaXIng Challenge Week of Awareness event would not have been possible. The sisters of Theta Rho would like to thank their community supporters for their generosity, their time and their donations. Thank YOU, for helping the sisters of the Theta Rho chapter to realize their potential by making OUR event possible!
If you are a college student, or know someone that is, check out Autism Speaks U!
Autism Speaks U is a program designed to engage college students across the country in autism awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts. Its new website offers a wide range of tools to empower students to establish Autism Speaks U chapters, organize events, and encourage their peers to get involved. College students, faculty and alumni can get involved with Autism Speaks U by visiting www.autismspeaks.org/u.
This is a guest post by Christina-Marie Drake. Christina is a 20-year-old student at Defiance College, where she is President of the Delta Pi Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, a cheerleader, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, a Citizen Leader, a pageant winner, and a Mixed Media Studies major. She is an Autism Speaks U Student Leader and helps to spread awareness and raise funds for those affected by autism.
As a San Diego, Calif. native, I started getting involved in the local music scene at age 14after spending five years in concert band where I learned to play over 13 instruments! While working in San Diego with local bands, I started putting on benefit concerts. The first was for breast cancer as part of my Teen Miss Lakeside 2006 pageant platform. The next concert I put on was for children’s diabetes, which raised $6,000. Most recently, my insanely crazy but fun schedule took on another task, a self-made project called “Rock For Autism.” I began working on my “Rock For Autism” (RFA) project using the contacts I have made in the 3 years I was involved. This new project, in addition to the benefit shows already put on, got me national recognition from Seventeen magazine, The Quill, and local papers around the states.
I moved to college where my sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, partnered with Autism Speaks around the same time. I was preparing to invest in the creation of my “Rock For Autism” project. After the sorority partnership, and my work at the YMCA and college with some students who have autism, I decided to contact Autism Speaks in hopes of gaining their support, too. I was then introduced to Autism Speaks U, an initiative of Autism Speaks that works with college students who host fundraising, awareness and advocacy events. They welcomed my project with open arms. By the time I got in touch with the organization, RFA had already participated on a variety of local tours with bands including The Summer Set, Every Avenue, Hotspur, There For Tomorrow, Hit the Lights, Sparks the Rescue, Four Year Strong, Blink-182, and AFI. The next undertaking was this year’s Vans Warped Tour.
Vans Warped Tour is a national tour that services an average of 12,000-15,000 kids a day with a variety of acts. During the tour, RFA will have a booth set up that will be fundraising for Autism Speaks U in an innovative way that will appeal to the student demographic. RFA will have a dice game in which everyone wins for just a buck! Prizes range from pins to skatedecks and more, all while spreading awareness and education to the next generation autism will affect more directly. The tour will run June 25-August 11 and you can come by the booth at any time at any of those cities to support the cause! Click here for a list of cities.
This guest post is by Autism Speaks Blog contributor Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a junior at Seton Hall University, majoring in Sports Management. He is currently working at Autism Speaks as a writer.
Sometimes you don’t have the words to express your amazement at a series of events. That was me after witnessing the Autism Speaks 400 on Sunday, May 16. But luckily for the readers, I’ve come back to earth and I’m ready to blog. Enjoy!
Sunday was another great day for driver Kyle Busch. Busch dominated the weekend. Almost winning Friday’s Camping Truck Series race, then winning Saturday‘s Heluva Good 200 Nationwide Series race. On Sunday he completed his great weekend by winning the Sprint Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 Race. What made Kyle so special this weekend was his aggressive, winning attitude. I had the opportunity to watch Kyle accept his trophy in victory lane. That positive, winning mentality was evidenced by the smile on Kyle’s face as he accepted his award. His confident winning manner is well known on the NASCAR circuit and indicates he will continue his winning ways.
Although many had Kyle winning before the race had even started, driver Jimmie Johnson was competed closely with Kyle all day long. However, after 365 laps, Johnson had a disastrous pit stop. He received a passing penalty, which put him a lap down to Busch, ruining his chances to win. This led to Jimmie Johnson finishing in 16th place.
Two of Sunday’s best stories came from driver Jamie McMurray and FOX Sports Senior Executive and Autism Speaks Board Member Artie Kempner. Both of these gentlemen have done amazing work for NASCAR and also for Autism Speaks. Jamie spent several minutes talking to fans along with giving me an interview. Artie Kempner said it best, “Jamie does more than just drive a race car”. Jamie has a passion for helping others and his family has been touched by Autism. When asked about the race, Jamie said “This is a really cool weekend. Awareness is something unique to our sport. To have a race, not named after a bank or a product, it’s something very special. The race is something very special to me because my niece is autistic.” Jamie, during the time with the fans signed several autographs and made a lot of people’s days just like mine; special.
As a final note of the day I would just like to thank Jamie, Artie Kempner and the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority for volunteering at three Autism Speaks booths outside of the race way. The Sorority sold Autism Speaks memorabilia to help in the fight against autism. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at Autism Speaks, NASCAR, and HERSHEY’S Milk & Milkshakes for such a great weekend.
I’m already looking forward to the race next year and am hoping you enjoyed the blog the past couple of days. As a bonus for our readers, below are several photos from this weekend’s events. Thank you all!