Westchester/Fairfield "Walk Now For Autism Speaks" to Raise Awareness and Funds for Autism Advocacy and Research

May 31, 2013


Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, is holding its 12th annual Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event on Sunday, June 2, 2013, at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division in White Plains, N.Y. Registration for the event opens at 9:00 a.m. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks' work to increase awareness about the growing autism epidemic, innovative autism research and family services, and advocacy efforts for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Harry and Laura Slatkin are the honorary walk chairs for the 2013 Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Rye Brook resident Doris Perez is the walk's chairperson. Christie Godowski, Autism Speaks' executive director said; "We are excited to build on the success of last year's Walk Now for Autism Speaks event and expand the ranks of both walkers and donors in 2013. The Slatkins and Doris Perez make a wonderful team to lead this exciting fundraising event."

"Harry and I are extremely excited to once again be serving as honorary chairs of the Westchester/Fairfield Walk," said Laura Slatkin. We are pleased that NewYork-Presbyterian is our walk host and thrilled that it is about to open the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain on the Westchester Division campus. Autism is a cause that is very personal to our family and we look forward to continuing to work together with the Westchester and Fairfield communities to raise a record amount of money this year."

"We are very proud to collaborate with Autism Speaks by hosting its 12th annual walk on our Westchester campus," says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, chief executive officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "This important community event is vital to research funding, advocacy, and awareness raising, and we thank and congratulate all the walk participants for truly helping to make a difference in the lives of so many children and families living with autism spectrum disorders. We are excited that this event coincides with the opening of our Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, which we know will serve as a state-of-the-art, comprehensive resource for families touched by autism."

Last year's Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks event attracted more than 15,000 walkers and raised over $1.12 million. The walk is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families affected by autism. The day includes a two-mile walk and Community Resource fair with educational resources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities — a true "one-stop-shop" for families affected by autism.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are signature fundraisers for Autism Speaks, raising more than $30 million last year alone, to support autism research, awareness and advocacy.

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 88 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 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,758 deliveries and 215,946 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 20,154 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

About the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell & Columbia

The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art institute dedicated to addressing the pressing clinical needs of individuals living with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders of the brain, across their lifespan. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, along with its affiliated medical schools Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College, has collaborated with the New York Collaborates for Autism (www.nyc4a.org) to establish the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. Led by Dr. Catherine Lord and located on the Hospital's 214-acre campus in White Plains, the Center is a resource for community-based providers and families. For more information, visit www.nyp.org/autism

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 over $180 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org

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