March, 2011 – Walk Now for Autism





West Palm Beach, February 14, 2011 – Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that the 10th annual PALM BEACH Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011 at the WEST PALM BEACH CITY COMMON. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks’ work, both locally and nationally, 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 in PALM BEACH COUNTY and beyond. Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.


The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, raising more than $24 million in 2011 alone to support autism research, awareness and advocacy. Last year’s PALM BEACH Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted more than 5000 walkers and raised over $350,000. Autism Speaks has made a significant impact in the PALM BEACH area. In addition to its national efforts, the organization has provided funding to local services providers, including Project LifeSaver through its Family Services Community Grant program. Autism Speaks science grants have supported research at The University of Miami and Florida International University.


Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a two mile 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.  This year there is a new competitive 5K Run Before the Walk Now for Autism Speaks taking place at 8:00 AM on the same day to spread awareness about autism to a whole new audience.


“Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks event has grown each year, and we expect to expand the ranks of both walkers and donors in 2011,” said Denise Negron, Walk Co-Chair, “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.”


For the fifth straight year, Toys”R”Us® and Babies”R”Us® will proudly serve as the North American sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Additional sponsors include Corporate Visionary Sponsors The Slomin Family Center, Lesser Lesser Landy and Smith, LLC, South Florida Ford, and Fetterman and Associates. 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. Attendees are welcome to stop by and sign their children up for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club. They can also 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 2011 PALM BEACH Walk Now for Autism Speaks, please visit or contact Jaclyn Merens at 800-610-6227 or 561-212-2935 or


About 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. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.


About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 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. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council has received over $249 million in donated media. Autism Speaks’ family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


Jaclyn Merens

South Florida Regional Director 
1166 West Newport Center Drive; Suite 314

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

954-421-9997 or 800-610-6227

Fax:  954-421-1054