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Calls to Action

Fabulous Night for Autism Speaks at the Winter Equestrian Festival

March 09, 2014

Week 6 of the Winter Equestrian Festival;  Photo courtesy of Sportfot®

It was a fabulous night for Autism Speaks at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

On Saturday night, March 8th, more than 120 guests gathered in the Gallery to celebrate the Grand Prix and bring awareness to autism. Mark and Katherine Bellissimo spoke warmly about Autism Speaks and their efforts to promote awareness of autism at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Bob and Suzanne Wright spoke about our current programmatic priorities and announced that champion rider Kent Farrington will be a new ambassador for Autism Speaks. Highlights of the night included Celebrity Chef Jaime Laurita preparing individual risottos for the guests and an after party that rocked with DJ Adam Lipson.

From left, Ted Smith, Hope Geier-Smith, Autism Speaks Co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright

Week 9 was autism awareness week at the Winter Equestrian Festival. In addition to the PSAs, ads, signage and the Autism Speaks jump, which was seen throughout the festival, we engaged the entire community of riders and visitors in a unique way. Every ribbon handed out during this past week had a special blue tab on it with the Autism Speaks logo. Winning riders were invited to remove the blue tabs from their ribbons and hand them in to show officials. For each tab that was collected during week 9, an anonymous donor will make a gift of $20 to Autism Speaks -- up to $5,000. The donations and collections have been a great way to engage the entire community and encourage them to support our mission.