Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders will be spotlighting Autism Speaks, starring Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr and Long Island Walk Chair Michael Giangregorio. The half hour segment will focus on the organization’s mission and Walk initiative. Check your local listings to watch!
Air Period: August 14-20, 2011
Hamiliton, Raritan, Monmouth (Channel 118)
Sunday thru Saturday: 6:30pm
Hudson and Bayonne (Channel 18)
Sunday thru Saturday: 5:30pm
Elizabeth (Channel 18)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 5:30 pm
Newark (Channel 18)
Sunday, Tuesday thru Saturday: 5:30pm
Air Period August 21-October 1
New York City, Yorktown, Ossining, Peekskill, Rockland (Channel 118)
Southern Westchester and Warwick (Channel 78)
Wappinger Falls (Channel 18)
Southern Connecticut (Channel 84)
Litchfield (Channel 5)
On August 5th, 2011, the New York City chapter of Autism Speaks to Young Professionals (AS2YP) held its third summer event on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Over 800 guests gathered at the NYSE to taste a few cocktails from sponsors Barbadillo, Firefly and Perrier, listen to music played by DJs Caleb Loftus and Nick Russo, and to show their support for Autism Speaks. The floor provided a stunning venue for guests to mingle among screens displaying the Autism Speaks puzzle piece, factoids about autism and photos of many of the young professionals present at the event with their loved ones on the spectrum. Event Co-Chairs Amanda Niederauer and Danny Ryan, joined by Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr, made remarks about their own personal experiences with autism, and thanked the crowd for being there to show their support. Guests were afforded the opportunity to take a photo with friends on the historic NYSE bell podium, and guests vied for a chance to win US Open tickets among other wonderful prizes in the evening’s raffle. To-date the AS2YP event series in New York City has raised over $272,000 for autism research and awareness, with over $66,000 coming in from last night’s event. Check out our event photos here, with more posted online at : http://guestofaguest.com/galleries/2011/8/autism-speaks-to-young-professionals-event/
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.
A buzz filled the room yesterday as BTIG traders raised money for several charities, including Autism Speaks. Celebrities greeted traders, their children, and invited guests. All of the profits from the day’s trades will be donated to the charities. Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr, Board member Alison Niederauer, her son Liam and husband Duncan, were there with our celebrity friends, Corey Louchiey and Howard Cross, veteran NFL players and loyal supporters of Autism Speaks.
Here Gillibrand is featured with Mark Roithmayr, the President of Autism Speaks, at the Autism Tomorrow conference held at the Anderson Center for Autism in Poughkeepsie, N.Y..
This post is by Mark Roithmayr, Autism Speaks’ President.
Earlier this week I had the honor and privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C., for special ceremonies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The term “landmark legislation” is greatly overused, but like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this law literally changed life for millions of people. The ADA has helped level the playing field for people with disabilities in this country, providing important civil rights protections and equal opportunities in the workplace and elsewhere.
As I took part in ceremonies at the Capitol Rotunda and, later, the White House, standing among other advocates for various causes, I found myself reflecting on those past two decades.
Twenty years ago, America barely recognized the word autism, nor understood what it meant for individuals to live with autism. Autism was absent from those founding moments two decades ago. Yet during the ceremonies this week, autism was acknowledged over and over again by elected officials, colleagues and advocates alike. From the floor of the House, Representative Patrick Kennedy referenced autism as one of two federal imperatives for increased funding. Later at the White House ceremonies, President Obama’s Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes cited the autism movement as a being the central part of today’s disability movement. Next, actor Robert David Hall –himself a double amputee following a devastating car accident – took the opportunity to discuss his twin nephews, both on the autism spectrum, while introducing President Obama, poignantly telling the story of how his brother and sister-in-law have to “climb mountains every day.”
Listening to the group of eloquent speakers, all I could think about was how incredibly far the autism advocacy movement has come in just a few short years. Not only was the day remarkable for the recognition of autism and its overwhelming prevalence in our society – our 1 in 110 children – our 1 in 70 boys, but that these numbers have climbed to new heights being diagnosed more often than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. There is no doubt that autism is now at the fore of the public’s consciousness as a disorder that is recognized as a national health crisis and a top public health priority
But the ADA ceremonies were about something even larger than our autism movement. It was a day to recognize disability rights as a core civil rights issue and a cause not for partisanship, but for uniting humanity at large. The quotes ran from Thomas Jefferson to Martin Luther King. President Obama honored President George H. Bush who passed the original legislation. Representative John Boener (R, OH) applauded James Langevin (D, RI) – the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives – who served as Speaker of the House for the day, the first time that Congress was presided over from a wheelchair.
Reflecting, I truly believe the ADA commemoration was about building on our autism victories, small and large, toward our collective future. The abilities of our community, our children, our teens, our young adults and our adults, are extraordinary and we have the collective will and the moral imperative to create an even better future. The path is clear.
- Our autism community has the ability learn – but we need to ensure accessibility to education through the life span.
- Our autism community has the ability to work – but we need to ensure accessibility to jobs.
- Our autism community has the ability to live independently – but we need to ensure accessibility to housing; and not least,
- Our autism community has the ability to be part of the wonderful social fabric of America – but we need to ensure access to community resources.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable American right” and the autism community deserves no less.
We also encourage you to read Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with Substance blog post by Kareem Dale.