National Walk Now for Autism Speaks Will be Held October 22, 2011 on the National Mall

The annual National Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at The National Mall. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks’ work both locally and nationally. Please join the Walk at

Washington, DC, October 22, 2011 --( Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, will host the National Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday, October 22, 2011 on The National Mall. All event proceeds support Autism Speaks’ work to increase awareness about the growing autism epidemic, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

“This event brings together the autism community from DC, Maryland, and Virginia for a day of fun to raise public awareness about autism and support vital autism research,” said Marjorie Robinson, Autism Speaks National Capital Area event director. “This year we are honored to have Andrea Mitchell serve as our Honorary Chair and lend her support to our premiere fundraising event.”

Last year’s National Walk Now for Autism Speaks event attracted 8,000 walkers and raised more than $830,000 for autism research, awareness, family services and advocacy.

For more information about the 2011 National Autism Walk to be held on October 22 on the National Mall, visit and!/AutismSpeaks.DC

About Walk Now For Autism Speaks
Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® proudly serve as National Sponsors of the Walk Now for Autism Speaks program. Additional local sponsors include: The Garchik Family Foundation, Lindsay Automotive Group, Intersections LLC, Booz Allen Hamilton, Collaborative Solutions, Congressional Bank, The Waldron Family Foundation, Meltzer Group, Metro Offices, Total Wine and More, Virginia Autism Project, and Cambridge US. This year’s media sponsor is 99.1 FM WLZL CBS Radio “El Zol.”

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a unique fundraising event that creates a safe and fun day for families who are impacted by autism. The 3-mile walk takes place on The National Mall in downtown DC within view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol. The day includes a Community Resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, and recreational organizations, as well as carnival games and DJ tunes —a true “one-stop-shop” for families affected by autism.

As our national partners, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us have confirmed that Geoffrey the Giraffe will attend the walk and 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 Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, raising more than $24.5 million last year. 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 walks.

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 110 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

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 $160 million to research 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 $272 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 27 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 12 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

Autism Speaks National Capital Area
Christina Markish