Buildings across Virginia Beach ‘turn blue’ to spread autism awareness

Posted on: 11:17 am, April 1, 2013, by , updated on: 09:58am, April 2, 2013

Photo: lightitupblue.org

Photo: lightitupblue.org

Virginia Beach, Va. – Buildings across Virginia Beach will ‘turn blue’ on Tuesday to spread awareness about autism in the Hampton Roads community.

Several landmark buildings throughout Virginia Beach will be illuminated in blue beginning at dusk on Tuesday, April 2 to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month.

Sponsored by Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, the “Light it up Blue” campaign unites nearly 3,000 iconic structures in more than 600 U.S. cities and 50 countries around the world.

The purpose is to generate awareness of autism as a growing public health crisis worldwide.

Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. has issued a proclamation declaring April 2 Autism Awareness Day in Virginia Beach.

“I am pleased that the City of Virginia Beach can support this worthy effort,” he said. “One in 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. That’s an astounding number, and we’ve got to do everything we can to address this problem.”

On April 2, blue lighting will be turned on simultaneously at the following buildings in Virginia Beach:

• The Oceanaire Resort Hotel (3421 Atlantic Ave.)

• Law Enforcement Memorial (35th Street at the Boardwalk)

• Sculpture at Princess Anne Commons (Corner of Princess Anne Rd. and Dam Neck)

• Convention Center Tower (2101 Parks Ave.)

• Armada Hoffler Tower (222 Central Park Ave., Town Center)

Participants include the City of Virginia Beach, Divaris Real Estate, Gold Key/PHR, the Leadership Virginia Autism Project, Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater, and the Autism Society of America Tidewater Chapter.

Throughout the month of April, Virginia Beach area residents can lend their additional support by getting involved in three key ways:

• Illuminate: Change your white bulbs to blue. Light up your home, business, school, place of worship or even your website to show your support.

• Donate: Text Autism to 25383 to donate $10 to Autism Speaks* or make a donation on http://www.LightItUpBlue.org

• Advocate: Take action as we call on President Obama and Congress to develop and implement a comprehensive national plan to address autism. Sign a petition on http://www.LightItUpBlue.org

“Light It Up Blue” website