Marino Foundation WalkAbout draws thousands to fight Autism

A beautiful day for the Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism (Photo Courtesy Miami Dade Police)

A beautiful day for the Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism (Photo Courtesy Miami Dade Police)

Congratulations to former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and the 6,000-plus people who participated in Saturday’s Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism!

The Miami fundraising walk raised more than $400,000 for autism research. Among those helping – Marino’s son, Michael, 22, who was diagnosed with autism 20 years ago, and Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland, dad to twin teenage girls autism.

SafetyNet is proud to have been a sponsor of this exciting, successful event.

Friday, as DJ1Tre set up his equipment on the Sun Life Stadium field for Saturday’s Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism, he took in the empty stadium. He’d seen the place full and rocking when his father used to work there. But he found it hard to believe 6,000 people would be on the field Saturday.

“I was out there earlier, it really is 6,000 people. It truly is a great day,” said DJ1Tre, a 22-year-old also known as Michael Marino, son of former Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and a college graduate diagnosed as autistic 20 years ago.

“Mike is a miracle really,” Dan Marino said. “When it comes to a young kid diagnosed at 2 years old, now graduated college, doing great. … I get choked up thinking about it. He’s a good kid, a good kid. Today’s special for me. He’s going to be out there working, doing a little spinning and being a part of this. To know the kind of impact he’s had not only on our lives, but the situation we were in, been able to help a lot of other people. That’s what’s good about it.”

A crowd gathered outside Sun Life Stadium, clad in T-shirts trumpeting their group supporting autism research and care. In one group were the members of Raiders For Autism, representing Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High School. In another group were Otters 4 Autism from Weston Everglades Elementary. Here, there, and everywhere were personally themed teams such as Justin’s Village and Joshua’s Jaywalkers, the latter named for 5-year-old Joshua Corliss.

“He was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago, so we’re here to support the cause,” said Debby Corliss, a Pembroke Pines dentist.

via Marino Foundation WalkAbout draws crowd, raises money to fight Autism – David J. Neal – MiamiHerald.com.

Colgate University women’s hockey plays for autism awareness

The Colgate women’s hockey team has created an autism project in support of Kati Williams, a local teenager from Norwich, N.Y., who has been an avid fan of the women’s hockey program for several years and now serves at the team’s manager. Kati has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

“When I first started looking into what we could do to raise awareness for autism I was floored at some of the facts,” stated head coach Scott Wiley. “It was hard for me to think about autism affecting so many people. A new case is diagnosed almost every 15 minutes. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined.

Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. in which there is no cure or medical detection. It is our goal to make as many people aware as possible and have a positive impact on those families affected by autism.”

The project will kick off with Light Up Starr Rink Blue for the Rensselaer game on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. that will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports. For that game the team will be wearing special edition puzzle piece jerseys, which will be auctioned online after the game and is looking to have at least 1000 fans attend the game. Free t-shirts, provided by Price Chopper will be given to the first 250 fans.

The team has also created online puzzle pieces through Autism Speaks, which are digital puzzles to send to family, friends and supporters of Colgate Women’s Hockey so we can help put the pieces together and raise money for Autism research.

via Colgate University Athletics – Women’s Hockey Creates Autism Awareness Project.

SafetyNet proud to partner with Flutie Foundation for Autism

The Eighth Annual Flutie Bowl will raise money for autism programs as ticket holders mingle with the football great and other local sports figures and celebrities at Kings in Legacy Place on Jan. 20.

Proceeds go the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, a charity that Flutie and his wife, Laurie, established in 1998 in honor of their son Doug Jr., who was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

“The Flutie Bowl is a great event that brings together people who really care about the autism community,” said Flutie, who’s best remembered for his winning “hail Mary” pass as quarterback of the 1984 Boston College football team. “We always have a great time bowling and playing music. We encourage everyone to come out to Kings, and support autism and the foundation.

”This year’s event marks the beginning of a partnership between the foundation and SafetyNet, which makes a bracelet that enables police to track people at risk of wandering or becoming lost. SafetyNet will give the bracelets to financially strapped families with autistic children who could benefit from the device.

via Flutie Bowl at Kings to benefit autism programs – Dedham – Your Town – Boston.com.

Golfer Ernie Els plans Florida autism charity events

Ernie Els now has a charity event for amateurs that will reward fundraising skills as much as good golf, hopeful it can raise upward of $3 million to help build a center for autistic children.

It’s called the “Els For Autism Golf Challenge,” and it will involve at least 32 tournaments across the country featuring two-player teams that qualify depending on how much money they raise for the project.

Els, a three-time major champion and one of golf’s most popular figures worldwide, disclosed in March 2008 that his 8-year-old son, Ben, has autism. A year later, the South African announced plans to build the “Els for Autism Center of Excellence” in South Florida to be a research and education facility for children with autism.

“Years from now, people may remember me as a golfer and a major champion,” Els said. “But I’d like also to be remembered as somebody who took the issue of autism and did something with it.”

via Ernie Els plans charity events for autism.

Shonda Schilling hopes book raises Asperger’s awareness, compassion

While the Red Sox were in the middle of a season that would end with their second World Series title in three years, things were falling apart for Shonda Schilling.

Grant, then 7, the third of the Schillings’ four children, was out of control. She had suspected since he was a baby that something wasn’t right, but thought maybe he was acting out because the family had moved a lot or that he was no longer the youngest child or that his father, Curt Schilling, was on the road so much with the Red Sox.

When Shonda noticed that her 4-year-old, Garrison, was more mature than Grant, she knew he wasn’t just going through a phase.In late August of 2007, with the Sox playing in Chicago, Grant was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

via Telegram.com – An edition of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Sunday Telegram.

Rams ex-QB joins fundraiser to tackle autism

During his 12 years in the National Football League, Jim Everett played against top quarterbacks who have autistic children – Dan Marino and Doug Flutie among them.

Everett’s wife, Rachel, has a godson who is autistic. Their close friends Pat and Stephanie McIlvaine have an autistic son, Dylan.

The Everetts and the McIlvains – both couples live in San Clemente – have watched Dylan, who will turn 11 next month, and the Everetts’ daughter, Alexandra, 11, grow up together. Alexandra is not autistic.

“We’ve seen the challenges that Pat and Stephanie have had to make,” Jim Everett said. “We progressed through the years where there’s normal development, and then there’s a fork in the road. It’s a very close personal experience.”Everett is hosting this year’s fundraiser, “Ante Up for Autism,” for Costa Mesa-based organization Talk About Curing Autism, set for Nov. 13 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point.

via Rams ex-QB joins fundraiser to tackle autism | everett, autism – News – The Orange County Register.

Alley-Oop for Autism recruits Illinois basketball team

We love when university athletes and teen-age volunteers make time to share their passion for sports with autistic children. Our bet is that Coach Bruce Weber,  his Fighting Illini, and the other volunteers got as much out of this Alley-Oop for Autism basketball clinic as the younger kids! Follow the link to the photos.

The University of Illinois championship basketball team partnered with the Urbana-Champaign campus’ Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life and the Stuart I. Raskas Friendship Circle of Illinois, a Chabad-Lubavitch program that pairs teenage volunteers with children with special needs, for the annual “Alley-oop for Autism” day of fun at the arena.

via Annual Alley-oop for Autism Enlists Illinois Basketball Team – Photos.

High school football team gives player with autism a touchdown

Menomonie, Wisconsin, high school senior Sam Kolden has been a member of the Indians football team since the 8th grade.

He also has autism. So when Menomonie’s coach asked Superior to let Kolden catch a pass in a game that the Spartans were trailing 46-14, the answer was clear.

“There was no indecision whatsoever,” Superior head coach Bob DeMeyer said. “The guys in the huddle with me just chimed in and said, ‘Let’s do it, Coach.’”

via High School Football Team Gives Opponent With Autism A Thrilling Touchdown | NBC 4i.

‘Clay Marzo: Just Add Water’ and ClayMarzo.com

“Clay Marzo: Just Add Water,” the award-winning documentary about a champion surfer with Asperger’s syndrome is available as a DVD or download. It gets a good review here from AspieWeb.

If you’re a fan of Clay Marzo or surfing, check out ClayMarzo.com for some fabulous photos and videos.

From AspieWeb:

So I finally was able to watch a video about world famous surfer with Autism Clay Marzo. The movie titled ‘Just Add Water’ is a great video and I highly recommend it! The video does a good job showing how successful and great people with Autism can be. This is a great video for the person with Autism who is feeling down and like they will not be successful. There are also interview with Dr. Tony Attwod the world expert on Aspergers.

via Clay Marzo: Just Add Water – Autistic Surfer.

Autism-Summer: Ohio Buckeyes teach children with autism football skills | NBC 4i

GROVE CITY, Ohio — Though most football camps are already over, there was just one more in Grove City for a very unique group of young athletes.

High School players as well as Buckeyes past and present shared the football experience with children with Autism.

The young players got to suit up in pads and helmets. They were eager to learn the basics of football including ball carry, how to be a quarterback, running back and defensive stations.

The children got to learn from all star coaches from the NFL and former Buckeye players.

via All-Star Coaches Teach Children With Autism Football Skills | NBC 4i.