On Sunday, April 7th the Baltimore Orioles welcomed autism families and friends to Autism Awareness Day at Camden Yards. Leading Baltimore volunteers threw out the first pitch, called "Play Ball" with the umpires, and received a Heavy Hitters Award for bringing over 500 fans with them to the game.
Teachers from Chesapeake Bay Middle School in Pasadena, Maryland, presented Autism Speaks with a check for more than $20,000 raised by their seventh grade class over the course of a school year. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who has a family member with autism, proudly wore his Autism Speaks pin, along with colleague Gary Thorne, as they announced the game on television.
Orioles' Community Relations Director Kristen Schultz provided autism families a spectacular party suite to use as a Quiet Room before and during the game. "My family and I had a great time at the Orioles game on Sunday,” volunteer Community Ambassador Danielle Marable told us. “If it were not for the quiet room and the wonderful staff that was provided I would not have dreamed of my son attending a baseball game.” This opportunity, along with discounted tickets, afforded hundreds of autism families to enjoy a beautiful and sensory-friendly afternoon enjoying America's Sport.
Special thanks goes to Major League Baseball, which has teamed up with Autism Speaks in a league-wide effort to raise autism awareness. All 30 MLB Clubs will raise awareness for the disorder during one home game during the regular season. Many of the MLB Autism Awareness games throughout the league will provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism. For more information about MLB Autism Awareness and to check on respective Club dates commemorating the initiative, please check out MLB's site here
[slideshow:2, order=top, width=600, height=440, img=|http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/orioles_dave_and_jake.jpg|||Dave Williams and son Jake throw out the first pitch ||, img=|http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/orioles_chesapeake_bay_middle_school.jpg|||Yvonne Embrey and Robin Iffland Teachers from Chesapeake Bay Middle School||, img=|http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/orioles_susan_sella_and_mikey.jpg|||Autism Speaks Field Development Director Susan Pereles poses with 2012 Baltimore walk chair Sella McBride and her son Mikey ||, img=|http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/orioles_henry_and_mike.jpg|||Mike Mathias looks on as son Henry gives some tips to the umpire staff ||, img=|http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/danielles_son.jpg|||Danielle Marable’s son demonstrates that “Quiet Room” is a euphemism||,]