15 Sep 2014
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Salem 'Lighting it Up Blue' Wednesday for Autism Awareness

The city of Salem's snow emergency lights will be activated Wednesday in recognition of Autism Awareness Day.

Salem 'Lighting it Up Blue' Wednesday for Autism Awareness
On Wednesday, April 2nd, the City of Salem will observe World Autism Awareness Day by participating in the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign and lighting up the City’s blue emergency lights located at intersections throughout the community. Residents should take note that there is no snow emergency in effect on Wednesday.

The campaign is sponsored by Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and encourages buildings and landmarks across the world to turn their lights blue on April 2nd to promote autism awareness. Partnering in the Salem effort is the City’s No Place for Hate Committee, For Kids Only Afterschool, and Parents United of Salem.

“Autism affects 1 in every 68 children in the U.S. and is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in our country,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Salem is proud to help raise awareness of this increasingly prevalent disorder by participating in the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign." 

“The Salem No Place for Hate Committee is happy to once again be a sponsor of Salem’s ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign to promote World Autism Awareness Day,” said committee member Jean Rockett. “This campaign highlights our City’s diversity and reflects our continued support for those with disabilities across Salem.”

“For Kids Only Afterschool decided to light up our business front on Essex Street the color blue as part of World Autism Awareness Day and reached out to the Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s Office to encourage other Salem businesses to do the same,” said Deborah Kneeland Keegan, Executive Director of For Kids Only, a non-profit, out of school time provider that serves Salem families. “The Light It Up Blue campaign is an effective way to kick-off Autism Awareness Month and shine an important spotlight on this growing global health crisis.”

Parents United of Salem, a local non-profit parents organization that helps facilitate community service, enrichment and education, will also host the ‘Light It Up Blue’ Autism Awareness Walk on Salem Common this Wednesday, April 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

“Parents United is so grateful to the Salem community for coming together in support of autism awareness,” said Co-President Melissa Wilson. “Our organization has raised thousands of dollars through our annual Festivus 5K for the Autism Society and Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism over the last several years. We are excited to host this third annual ‘Light It Up Blue’ Autism Awareness Walk on Salem Common and encourage everyone to put on some blue, bring your friends and family, and join us for a fun walk around the Common to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day!”

For more information on the walk, please contact Melissa Wilson at (978) 968-4888 or by e-mail atmelzwilson@hotmail.com. Information is also available on their website at  http://parentsunitedofsalem.org. The walk will be held at the Salem YMCA in the event of inclement weather conditions.

Autism Speaks has a special website,  http://liub.autismspeaks.org to highlight the campaign. The “Light It Up Blue” website 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.

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