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'Super Kid Honors' Kicks Off Super Bowl Weekend at Joe's Crab Shack

January 30, 2015

(Tempe, Ariz.) --Autism Speaks and the HollyRod Foundation gathered today at the Joes Crab Shack in Tempe, Arizona to present the 2nd annual Super Kid Honors award. Rodney Peete, former NFL player and wife Holly Robinson Peete, co-founder of HollyRod, mom, and Autism Speaks Board Member joined executives from Autism Speaks to host this unique fundraiser. With the recent legislative win of the ABLE Act being signed into law by President Obama, it was an honor to also be joined by some of the individuals who helped make this happen including US Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), US Representative Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Arizona State Senator Ed Ableser (Tempe District 26), and City of Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods. Former NFL players along with families and supporters came together to raise awareness and funds for research, family services and advocacy on behalf of the 1 in 68 children who are diagnosed with autism each year.

The Super Kid Honors award this year was presented to Vincent Stover, from Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona. Vincent is a lettering Senior and Special Education student who was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of 4. He has been in the “Ridge” football program for 3 years playing both JV and Varsity. Vincent holds a 3.86 GPA, is a highly active volunteer in his community and supportive teammate both on and off the field. He is such a great part of his team that he was recently voted “most inspirational” and won an award from his own teammates. A member of the National Honor Society, Vincent has participated in basketball, track, band and chorus. He volunteers for numerous charitable causes and his school’s Sports Medicine Team. Vincent plans to attend Glendale Community College to pursue a career in physical therapy and sports.

Autism Speaks and the HollyRod Foundation were pleased to present Vincent Stover the award this year in front of his teammates, coach, family, and celebrity attendees! Vincent also shined in the media spotlight with visits from local Arizona news casts (watch live interview with Holly here) and Access Hollywood while enjoying good eats, fun activities and a lucky guest who won 2 tickets to the Super Bowl – and donated them back so Vincent could take his mom to the big game!

We want to thank Joe's Crab Shack and Eric Easton, Joe’s Crab Shack Vice President of Operations who made a touching speech on why they partner for autism and what it means to their staff. Thank you Joe’s Crab Shack, for hosting such an awarding event that raised over $14,000 to benefit both organizations! This annual fundraiser couldn’t be possible without the support of our gracious sponsors this year. Visit Walgreens, Quest Nutrition, Trumpet Behavioral Health, Grand Canyon Brewery and Old Smokey Moonshine for companies and brands that give back! 

Are you an NCAA basketball fan? Join our "Coaches Powering Forward for Autism" campaign to raise awareness and funds for autism research and family services! More than 200 coaches have already signed up to participate in the campaign, which will culminate February 6 to 8. Throughout the weekend, coaches, officials and broadcasters will raise autism awareness by donning the blue Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin during college basketball games. Find out more info at autismspeaks.org/coachpower.