Light it Up Blue ASPEN! World Autism Awareness Day Fundraiser

Light it Up Blue Aspen (LIUB ASPEN) is a collaboration of  organizations dedicated to serving individuals on the autism spectrum on a local and national level. These organizations have banded together to join Autism Speak’s global initiative to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The mission of LIUB ASPEN is both to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders and raise much-needed funds that will directly impact families and children on the autism spectrum in our rural mountain communities. LIUB ASPEN is proud to be affiliated with this global effort by lighting up Aspen mountain blue. Aspen mountain will join the ranks of such esteemed landmarks as the Empire States Building, the Sydney Opera House, and Niagara Falls.

On November 1, 2007, the United Nations (UN) called for one day each year to be designated as World Autism Day. On December 18, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. It was first observed in 2008.

This UN resolution is one of only three official disease-specific United Nations Days that brings world attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention. It expresses deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges. Furthermore, April is also recognized as National Autism Awareness Month.

Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day and the month with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. By bringing together autism organizations all around the world, we give a voice to the millions of individuals worldwide who are undiagnosed, misunderstood and looking for help. Please join us in our effort to inspire compassion, inclusion and hope.

What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a “spectrum disorder” meaning symptoms range from mild to severe and vary by individual. There is no one “look” or “type.” As the saying goes, once you’ve met a person on the autism spectrum, you’ve met one person on the autism spectrum.

Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by atypical development in socialization, communication, and behavior. The symptoms of ASDs typically are present before age 3 years and often are accompanied by abnormalities in cognitive functioning, learning, attention, and sensory processing (from the CDC).

How Common is Autism?*

  • Today, the CDC estimates that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. It is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world.
  • An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and 67 million worldwide are affected by autism.
  • Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually. There is no established explanation for this increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.
  • Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism.
  • Since 1975, there has been a 600% increase in the prevalence of diagnosis of those on the Autism Spectrum.

* Source: Autism Speaks

Prevalance vs. Funding*

  • Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade, and yet autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
  • Leukemia affects 1 in 1,200. Funding: $277 million.
  • Muscular Dystrophy affects 1 in 100,000. Funding $162 million.
  • Pediatric AIDS affects 1 in 300. Funding: $394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes affects 1 in 500. Funding: $156 million
  • Autism: Affects 1 in 110. Funding: $79 million
  • The National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation in 2010 had a budget of $35.6 billion . Of this, only $218 million went directly to autism research. This represents 0.6% of total NIH funding.

* Source: Autism Speaks

Light it Up Blue Aspen

As mentioned above this event is to raise funds and assist families in our Colorado Mountain Towns and communities. There are very few services for families with autistic children forcing many to move from their homes to other cities.  With that said here are some events that will assist in raising funds and lots of cheer!

Sunday, April 1: Light It Up Blue

1 p.m. Equine Therapy demontration with The Horse Boy author Rupert Isaacson at Windwalkers Ranch. Click here for details.

Dusk. The Little Nell run of Aspen Mountain Lights up Blue. Award-winning lighting designerRobert Singer designed the display.

Dusk. The Sardy House Tree lights up blue!

6 p.m. Gala fundraiser at the Little Nell. This amazing evening benefits local families and includes:

  • Hosts: actress Holly Robinson Peete and NFL Legend Rodney Peete and local chairs Sallie and Tom Bernard
  • Cocktails in the Terrace Room featuring Ultimat vodka
  • Dinner at Montagna with courses specially paired with Patrón cocktails
  • Music by Grammy-nominated Jazz pianist Rob Mullins
  • Tickets start at $350/person. Click here to view ticket options
  • Dress- cocktail attire

Monday, April 2 World Autism Awareness Day

9:15 Basalt High School: Diversity & Disability: How to Live a Heroic Life.
By Internationally bestselling author Rupert Isaacson and NFL legend Rodney Peete
This event is open to the public to attend.

12:35 p.m. Glenwood Springs High School: Diversity & Disability: How to Live a Heroic Life.
Internationally bestselling author Rupert Isaacson and NFL legend Rodney Peete speak to 10th graders.

6 p.m. Community Evening at the Wheeler Opera House
. Tickets: $10

  • Cocktail party catered by Kenichi
  • Special guest: International best-selling author Rupert Isaacson
  • Movie Screening of Isaacson’s “The Horse Boy,” followed by Q&A and book signing
  • Drawings for amazing prizes donated by members of The Blue Door Club
  • Meet Autism organizations working to help local families
  • Click here to purchase tickets

Throughout the day: The Blue Door Club lights up their doorways blue throughout the Roaring Fork Valley in support of autism awareness. Over 40 businesses have already signed on! Click hereto find out how to join the club

April 3: All About Education

4:30 pm Autism & Behavior, a workshop for teachers-only at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale. Dr. Susan Hepburn of JFK Partners leads this session for teachers. Contact Julie Goldberg, RE-1 District Special Education Director for or (970) 384-5992

6 p.m. How to Build Effective Home School Collaboration. FREE, open to the public. Dr. Susan Hepburn of JFK Partners leads this evening talk. Roaring Fork High School Library, Carbondale. Thank you to the RE-1 SEAC for providing the space!

Good luck and all the best for a successful event and incredible fundraising!


1 Comment

  1. I would love to get involved with this organization both in Aspen and in Palm Beach. I met the founders of Autism Speaks in Palm Beach recently. Please contact me about how I can help out this summer in Aspen.
    I would love to do a television interview on this organization when I return in June.
    Patricia Hill

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