Autism Speaks Announces National Capital Area Walk Now for Autism Will be Held on October 31, 2009 on the National Mall

Washington, DC, April 02, 2009 --( Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today announced the date for the National Capital Area Walk Now for Autism. All event proceeds support Autism Speaks who’s mission is to increase awareness about the growing autism epidemic, raise funds for research, family services and advocacy in local communities and nationwide.

“We are excited to build on the success of last year’s Walk Now for Autism event and expand the ranks of both walkers and donors,” said Marjorie Robinson, Autism Speaks’ event director.

Last year’s National Capital Area Walk Now for Autism event attracted 7,500 walkers and raised almost $1 million for autism research. For more information about the 2009 Walk Now for Autism, to be held on October 31st on the National Mall, visit .

About Walk Now for Autism

Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund proudly serve as national sponsors of the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program.

Walk Now for Autism is a unique fundraising event which creates a safe and fun day for families who are impacted by autism. The day includes a 2-to 3-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.

As their national partners, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us will have a tented area serving as home base for 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 help build skills of children with autism, created in collaboration with Autism Speaks.

The Walk Now for Autism events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, raising more than $29 million last year, alone, to support autism research. This year, over 80 Walk Now events will take place across the United States, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. Visit for more information about the walk.

About Autism

Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. 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 dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Wright also serves on the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and Mission Product, LLC. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

Autism Speaks National Capital Area
Shawnie Keenan
202 955 3111