(NEW YORK, NY – Jan. 30, 2007) – Legendary entertainer Bill Cosby and six-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Toni Braxton will headline a star-filled night of comedy and music at the Concert for Autism Speaks on April 9 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, in New York City. NBC News' Tom Brokaw will serve as the master of ceremonies for the fundraiser for Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research .
“Autism is a disorder that is robbing families of the chance to fulfill their dreams and experience the everyday joys most of us take for granted,” said Cosby. "For example, many children with autism are very limited in their ability to develop warm relationships with others, including their parents. We all need to do our part so that, with our help, these families will finally get the answers they so desperately seek.”
“When autism became a part of my family's reality, I was determined to join Autism Speaks in its battle against this devastating disorder that is impacting thousands of families," said Braxton, who is currently headlining in a long-term engagement at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The mother of two children, one of whom has autism, went on to say, “So much progress is being made on all fronts – from the laboratory to Capitol Hill -- but all of us must continue to fight until we have found the cause and a cure for autism.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Bill and Toni for lending their remarkable talents to us for what promises to be a memorable evening,” said Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “With the recent passage of the Combating Autism Act, the future is far brighter for every individual and family affected by autism. However, the need to raise funds for awareness, treatment and research is as urgent as ever.”
Ticket information for the Concert for Autism Speaks will be made available in the coming weeks at www.autismspeaks.org.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 166 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric, and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now (CAN) recently announced plans to combine operations, bringing together the two leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders; to increasing awareness of the nation's fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.