Richmond Walk Now for Autism Speaks Will Raise Awareness and Funds for Autism Advocacy, Research and Services on September 28th at the Richmond International Raceway

The 5th Annual Richmond Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on September 28, 2013 at the Richmond International Raceway’s Inner Track. For more information, visit:

Richmond, VA, August 25, 2013 --( The National Capital Area Chapter of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that the 5th Annual Richmond Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on September 28, 2013 at the Richmond International Raceway’s Inner Track. 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 Richmond and beyond.

Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 88 children, including 1 in 54 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, drawing hundreds of thousands of participants in 103 cities across the U.S. and Canada to support autism research, awareness and advocacy.

Each Walk Now for Autism Speaks event is unique, offering a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a three-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’s walk will also feature a special performance by the Diggity Dudes, amongst other activities.

In addition to its national science and advocacy work, Autism Speaks has made a significant impact in the Richmond area. This year is the first year the local chapter of Autism Speaks will be offering Chapter Grants, which awards autism service providers up to $5,000 addressing the areas of education, recreation and community activities, young adult/adult services and technology. Autism Speaks science grants have supported research at local research institutions, including the University of Virginia and its research on Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence.

“Our Walk Now for Autism Speaks continues to grow thanks to the generosity and support of so many people in our community,” said Walk Chair Pam Brooks. “We are helping to advance science and awareness nationally, while also supporting the important work of service providers, researchers and clinicians in our community and communities across America. Once again, we are coming together to celebrate the joy our loved ones with autism bring to our lives, and to advance the effort to make life better for them and their families.”

For the seventh consecutive year, Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® proudly serve as the national sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Toys“R”Us is also the largest corporate partner of Autism Speaks. Since the partnership began in 2007, Toys“R”Us has helped Autism Speaks receive more than $16 million through in-store and online fundraising campaigns, donations from both the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the efforts of employees who volunteer to raise additional funds at Walk Now for Autism Speaks events across the country.

Additional sponsors include The Hughes Center, Ashley Furniture Homestore of Richmond, Pump It Up, WRIC 8, amongst other partners in the community.

For more information about the 2013 Richmond Walk Now for Autism Speaks, please visit or contact Christina Markish at (202) 955-3111 or

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 communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It 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. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit
Autism Speaks
Christina Markish