Alpha Xi Delta brings recognition to Autism Awareness Month

Kristina Thomas, Features Writer

Wright State’s Alpha Xi Delta Sorority is partnering with Autism Speaks as part of their annual philanthropy to recognize Autism Awareness Month.

Sorority members across the country will work to raise awareness and financial support for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for autism.

“Autism is the fastest growing mental disability and gets less than one percent of money from the government,” Alpha Xi Delta Philanthropy Chair Bethany Secrest said. “More money goes towards AIDS, diabetes and cancer, while one in 80 kids are affected with some form of autism. Most of us know someone who is affected.”

According to the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cures for autism and advocating for the needs of affected families. Suzanne and Bo Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism, founded Autism Speaks in 2005.

Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research and Cure Autism Now, bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations.

“We have many ways for students to get involved this month,” Secrest said. “We plan to give out 3,000 puzzle pins to students on campus. The puzzle pins represent autism awareness.”

Alpha Xi Delta’s will host the WSU baseball game on March 28 and encourages students to come out and show their support. During the game a family’s child with autism will throw the first pitch.

The sorority will also have their annual Amazing Challenge fundraiser at Quaker Steak and Lube. People will be able to enjoy great food, give donations and sing karaoke for a cure. Blue lights will illuminate the Nutter Center in recognition of the month.

“I really look forward to seeing students around campus wearing their puzzle pieces and understanding the importance of supporting Autism Speaks,” Secrest said. “This philanthropy is about helping children and their families out and Wright State coming together as a community to do it.”

For more information about the Amazing Challenge or other questions contact: Bethany Secrest at secrest.5@wright.edu.

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