Friday, March 28, 2014

Maynard Clock Tower will Shine a Light on Autism this April!

For immediate release: March 24, 2014
Clock Tower will Shine a Light on Autism this April!

On Tuesday, April 2nd families and friends of people who are impacted by Autism will join
together in front of Clock Tower Place to watch the town clock turn blue to raise
awareness of Autism in the community. Adding itself to the list of international
landmarks including The Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building, and
many more, Clock Tower’s blue lights will be a symbol in Maynard that the town
supports our community members who are impacted by Autism. Autism is a
complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate
and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral
challenges. Light It Up Blue is an international campaign created by the
organization Autism Speaks.

The event was initiated by Maynard High School student, Jae Mannion who has
Asperger’s Syndome, a type of Autism. In 2012 Jae along with the Whalen family
of Stow raised money to pay for the plastic tube covers for the 48 lights, which
light the clock every evening. Kevin Whalen, owner of Stow Ace Hardware, has
helped support Jae in his efforts. Kevin and his wife Melissa Whalen have a son,
Ty, who has a severe form Autism.

Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children; one in 70
boys in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public
health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown. The mission of Autism
Speaks is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum
disorders. The organization is dedicated to funding global biomedical research
into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public
awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and
to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.

The Community is invited to the to watch the clock turn Blue at 7:00pm on
Wednesday April 2nd in front of Clock Tower Place. Following the clock lighting
will be a puzzle cake party with representatives from SEPAC and Autism Speaks
to provide information and support!

Residents are encouraged to Light their Houses Up Blue by purchasing a blue
light for their home at Stow Ace Hardware! Maynard and Stow students are
encouraged to wear blue to school on April 2nd.

For more information, please visit the following website
Or contact Danielle Mannion at or Maribel Rueda at
maribel rueda join the Facebook Group Light It Up

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