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Don Allen joins in Shining a Light on Autism at Nantucket Kick Off

On Saturday, July 18, co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright joined more than 130 members of the Nantucket Community in celebrating Autism Speaks’ 10 Year Anniversary at the Annual Nantucket Kick Off Reception. Willie Geist returned for his second year as Master of Ceremonies, which was a perfect tie to our new venue, Don Allen Jeep, as he has many memories of time on Nantucket with his father in a red jeep. Don Allen Jeep was awash with blue lights and hydrangeas, the perfect setting for our guests to mingle and learn more about Autism Speaks.

“A famous Japanese poet once said: ‘Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.’ I don’t think I need to remind you that we are already there – 30 miles off the coast. All of us here tonight – and our sea of volunteers and staff have the power to change the landscape for our families. And it is already happening,” Suzanne Wright said while highlighting some of the organization’s awareness accomplishments.

While the setting sun shining in the windows made it difficult to see the 10 Year Anniversary video, the message was still heard.

“When we started Autism Speaks ten years ago, we followed a basic philosophy, which was back then – ‘Just start. Do Something. Do what you can from where you are,” reflected Bob Wright. “Collaboration and unity will be the keys moving forward.

Special guest, Wayni Carini, host of “Chasing Classic Cars,” was presented with an award for his dedication and service to Autism Speaks and the autism community. Wayne then spoke about the changes he’s seen since his daughter was a child and expressed gratitude for the Wright’s efforts to promote awareness, drive research, and advance opportunities for those with autism.

This event kicks off Autism Speaks’ summer on Nantucket. August 10th-15th, we will be celebrating our annual Light It Up Blue Week with special events and promotions at businesses and restaurants throughout the island. On Friday, August 14th, join us at Don Allen Ford for our 5th Annual Don Allen Cruise Night for Autism Speaks from 5-7pm. And our 9th Annual Nantucket Walk Now for Autism Speaks will take place on Saturday, August 15th at Jetties Beach. To learn more about our events, follow us on facebook: or register to walk:

Huge thanks to our Kick Off Event Supporters: Don Allen Auto Services, Cisco Brewers, Cranberry Transportation, Hyline Cruises Last Minute Productions, Miacomet Golf Club, The Nantucket Project, and Nantucket Toffee.


The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.