Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada will Raise Awareness and Funds for Autism Research, Services, Advocacy and Awareness

Our Fundraising Goal is $1.6 Million

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| Source: Autism Speaks Canada

TORONTO, March 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, announced that the annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada fundraising and awareness spring events are open for registration. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks Canada's work, on a local and national level.  ASC's mission is to increase awareness about the growing autism health crisis, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 88 children, including 1 in 54 boys, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability. 
 
The Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks Canada, raising nearly $1.4 million in 2013 alone to support autism research, services, awareness and advocacy. Last year's Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada attracted more than 10,000 walkers and volunteers. In addition to its national efforts, the organization provided over $450,000 in funding to local services providers across the country through the Family Services Community Grant program.
 
Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a two to three kilometer Walk and Community Resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities – a true "one-stop-shop" for families affected by autism. 
 
"Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada event has grown each year, and in 2014 we have grown to 9 cities" said Jill Farber, Executive Director. "In addition to raising funds and awareness, the Walk is a chance for families to come together and enjoy a day of laughter, hope and community. Working together, we are making great strides toward improving the lives of people with autism and their families."
 
Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® will proudly serve as National Presenting Sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada. Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us will host a tented area at The Walk, serving as home base for the company's mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. Walkers are invited to pick-up the "Ten Toys That Speak To Autism" handout and see this selection of everyday toys that can help build skills of children with autism, created in collaboration with Autism Speaks.
 
For more information about the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca.
 
About Autism Speaks Canada

Autism Speaks is the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $160 million to research and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks' Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light it Up Blue initiative.

Carrie Habert - Marketing Director 


Melanie Haydon - National Walk and Community Events Director


Jill Farber - Executive Director