One of the newest Light It Up Blue participants this year is Aspen, Colorado, where they’ve taken the idea of shining a light on autism seriously. On April 1, Aspen kicks off National Autism Awareness Month as the first ski resort in history to Light It Up Blue. This visual extravaganza on the ski slopes directly above downtown Aspen was created by renowned lighting designer Robert Singer and is part of a three-day celebration throughout the Aspen area.
Autism Speaks representatives will be attending the fundraising gala sponsored by Patron Spirits at The Little Nell at the base of Aspen Mountain. Organizers are delighted to have actress and autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and husband Rodney Peete, former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, as hosts for the gala, which also features Grammy-nominated Jazz pianist Rob Mullins.
The Light It Up Blue Aspen celebration also includes important community and educational elements. Rupert Isaacson, the internationally best-selling author and film producer of The Horse Boy, heads to town for a special equine therapy demonstration of The Horse Boy Method at Windwalkers Ranch. On World Autism Awareness Day, he’s the featured guest at the Community Evening for Autism at the historic Wheeler Opera House. The evening features a cocktail party, giveaways from Aspen merchants, and a screening of Isaacson’s movie “The Horse Boy.” Both he and Peete will spend part of their time on World Autism Awareness Day visiting local schools to talk about diversity and disability. Aspen also debuts The Blue Door Club, by encouraging local business owners to light their establishment doorways blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Over 40 businesses have already signed on.
Light It Up Blue Aspen Events conclude on April 3 with a teachers’ workshop on behavior strategies and a free public talk on home/school collaboration by clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Hepburn of JFK Partners. All proceeds raised from these events will benefit local families and autism organizations, including Extreme Sports Camp for Autism, the Roaring Fork Autism Network. The Autism Speaks - Autism Treatment Network, JFK Partners in Denver, and Children’s Hospital will also receive a share to provide more outreach services into rural communities.
Congratulations to Aspen, Colorado, for shining such a bright light on Autism this April!
For more information, please visit our website www.lightitupblueaspen.com.
Photo Credit: Joe Barnes