BOSTON, MA - As part of a global initiative to help raise awareness for autism, Fenway Park will be among the iconic landmarks in Boston and around the world that will "Light It Up Blue" tonight as part of World Autism Awareness Day.
Light It Up Blue, now in its fourth year, is a global initiative created by Autism Speaks - the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization - to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. On April 1 and 2 of each year, landmarks from around the world light up in blue to show their support for autism.
For the fourth year in a row, Fenway Park's façade near Gate A on Yawkey Way will be lit up in blue joining other Boston landmarks including the State House and Zakim Bridge. Around the world, landmarks that "light it up blue" include the Empire State Building in NYC, the Aspen Mountain in Colorado, Niagara Falls in Canada, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and even the International Space Station.
This year, Major League Baseball is teaming up with Autism Speaks in a league-wide effort to recognize Autism Awareness Month in April, where all 30 clubs will raise awareness for the disorder during one home game. Fenway Park's April 28 game will be dedicated to raising awareness for autism and provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism.
The Boston Red Sox' involvement with autism dates back to 2001 when the team supported the first fundraiser of a newly formed organization known as the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR). In 2005, NAAR merged with a new organization formed by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism, to create Autism Speaks. In addition to the Light It Up Blue campaign, the Red Sox have also supported Autism Speaks through Red Sox Foundation donations, marketing and advertising support, and the promotion of their New England walk events. Additionally, Red Sox Senior Vice President of Fenway Affairs, Larry Cancro, is Chairman of the Board of the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks.