NEW YORK, NY (June 3, 2008) – Autism Speaks and Chevrolet today announced that the Help Chevy Help Autism campaign, held during Autism Awareness Month in April, resulted in Chevy meeting its fundraising goal of donating $1 million to support the work of the nation's largest autism advocacy organization.
During the Help Chevy Help Autism promotion, more than 58,000 visitors to autismspeaks.org and chevy.com took a free virtual test drive of the all-new Chevy Malibu, the 2008 North American Car of the Year. Those who participated in the virtual test drive were offered a free 30-day online trial of XM Satellite Radio.
Chevrolet committed to a minimum contribution of $500,000, but every virtual test drive taken got Chevrolet closer to its goal of donating up to $1 million to Autism Speaks to support its mission of increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research.
In addition to the virtual test drive campaign, Chevy's fundraising and awareness efforts on behalf of Autism Speaks included NASCAR events and a Chevy Strikes Out Autism event at Chicago's Wrigley Field.
"Chevrolet's intent with our Help Chevy Help Autism promotion was to generate funds for Autism Speaks by creating a free virtual test drive of the Chevy Malibu at autismspeaks.org, and also generate greater awareness of autism, a disorder that is now diagnosed in one in every 150 children," said Ed Peper, North America vice president of Chevrolet. "Because our campaign met its objectives, Chevrolet is pleased to be giving $1 million to Autism Speaks to help the organization in its mission to increase awareness, advocacy and find effective treatments for autism. We thank everyone who helped Chevy help autism."
“Chevrolet has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to making a real difference in the lives of individuals with autism and their families nationwide, and we are very grateful for their support,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “The Help Chevy Help Autism campaign was a tremendous success, and the money Chevrolet has donated to Autism Speaks will greatly enhance our ability to advocate for those families and also help us advance important autism research.”
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 150 children in the United States, 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 autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Wright also serves on the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and Mission Product, LLC. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.