Autism Speaks to launch and#8216;Light It Up Blueand#8217; campaign |

Autism Speaks to launch and#8216;Light It Up Blueand#8217; campaign

NEW YORK, N.Y. and#8212; Autism Speaks, the worldand#8217;s largest autism science and advocacy organization, announced the launch of its inaugural Light It Up Blue campaign, a global initiative to raise awareness about autism and in support of World Autism Awareness Day April 2 and Autism Awareness Month. Iconic landmarks around the globe and#8212; including the Empire State Building, Willis Tower in Chicago, the CN Tower in Toronto and Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia and#8212; as well as airports, bridges, museums, concert halls, restaurants, and retail stores, are among more than 100 structures in more than 17 U.S. cities and nine countries around the world that will light up in bright blue on the evening of April 1 and#8211; the first night of Autism Awareness Month and the eve of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD).

Autism Speaks has launched a special website, to highlight the campaign.

and#8220;We are excited that these landmark buildings will be illuminated in blue to show support for World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month,and#8221; says Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. and#8220;We are also incredibly grateful to these dedicated corporate, retail and media partners for the commitment and generosity they have shown to this cause. Together, we will light the skies like a beacon of hope and ensure that our message of autism awareness will reach millions around the globe.and#8221;

On Dec. 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, declaring April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity. This UN resolution established WAAD as one of only three official disease-specific United Nations Days, with the goal of bringing the world’s attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with autism, and features community events around the world where individuals with autism and their families are warmly welcomed and embraced.

To commemorate World Autism Awareness Day and the Light It Up Blue campaign the following Autism Speaks corporate sponsors, retail, and media partners will participate:

· The Toys and#8220;Rand#8221; Us Times Square GeoffreyTron screen overlooking Broadway will light up blue. Throughout the campaign, monetary donations will be collected at all Toysand#8220;Rand#8221;Us and Babiesand#8220;Rand#8221;Us stores and online at

· Nest Fragrances, created the and#8220;Blue Garden Autism Candle,and#8221; specifically for Autism Speaks, which can be purchased at Nest Fragrances, owned by Autism Speaks Board Member Laura Slatkin, is donating a portion of proceeds to benefit Autism Speaks.

· Saks Fifth Avenue NYC headquarters has donated three of its signature windows to Autism Speaks and will light up blue.

· The Tommy Hilfiger store on Fifth Avenue in NYC will illuminate its store staircase and Stone Wall blue and have its sales associates wear the puzzle piece pins.

· The NBA Store and The NBC Experience Store in NYC will turn their lights blue and feature a special message in the store windows.

· will turn its home page blue and provide and#8220;skinsand#8221; with information about Autism Speaks available for download.

· will turn its family page wallpaper blue:

· Nevada State Capitol, Governorand#8217;s Mansion, Carson City, Nev.

· Merchandise Mart, Willis Tower, One South Dearborn, Wrigley Building, Chicago, Ill.

· Fountain Square, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cincinnati, Ohio

· Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

· Denver City and County Building, Denver, Colo.

· Pennsylvania Capitol Building, Harrisburg, Pa.

· Montana Capitol Building, Helena, Mont.

· JP Morgan Chase Tower, Houston, Texas

· Kansas City Downtown Marriott Hotel, Kansas City, Mo.

· Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Pylons, Los Angeles, CA

· L’Etoile Restaurant, Madison, Wis.

· Miami Tower, Miami, Fla.

· Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden Marquee, New York Stock Exchange, Radio City Music Hall, FUSE Networks, John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower, Brooklyn Borough Hall, and many more in New York, N.Y.

· The Bell Tower, Perth, Australia

· Bangabandhu Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

· Bermudaand#8217;s City Hall, Hamilton, Bermuda

· CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

· Nicosia Town Hall, Nicosia, Cyprus

· Shaheed Hussain Adam Building, Maldives

· Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

· Kingdom Tower Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

· The Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka