The “Light It Up Blue” campaign, sponsored by Autism Speaks, helps raise awareness for more than 70 million people around the world with autism.
In 2015, people in 142 countries participated and more than 18,602 buildings lit up blue to show support for autism. This year’s goal is to reach 20,000 buildings.
Mayor Will Sessoms declared April 2 Autism Awareness Day in Virginia Beach.
“I am pleased that the City of Virginia Beach can support this worthy effort,” he said. “Autism Spectrum Disorder affects more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Those are astounding numbers and we’ve got to do everything we can to address this problem.”
On Saturday, blue lighting will be turned on simultaneously at the following locations throughout Virginia Beach:
- Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (717 General Booth Blvd.)
- Virginia Beach Convention Center Tower (1000 19th St.)
- Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (2200 Parks Ave.)
- Law Enforcement Memorial (35th Street at the Boardwalk)
- Light Garden at Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park (3740 Dam Neck Road)
- Wave Sculpture (31st Street – Laskin Road Roundabout)
- The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center (4535 Commerce St.)
- Clark Nexsen Building (Town Center – 4525 Main St.)
- Tautog’s Restaurant (205 23rd St.)
- Doc Taylor’s Restaurant (207 23rd St.)
- Atkinson Realty (210 40th St. and 5307 Atlantic Ave.)
- Entercom Radio, Inc. (236 Clearfield Ave.)
- Beach Ford (2717 Virginia Beach Blvd.)
Participants will include the City of Virginia Beach, Divaris Real Estate, the Leadership Virginia Autism Project, Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater, the Autism Society of America Tidewater Chapter and Autism Speaks.
Throughout the month of April, Virginia Beach area residents can lend their additional support by getting involved in four ways:
- Change your white bulbs to blue. Light up your home, business, school, place of worship or website to show your support.
- Wear a blue and ask your friends, coworkers or classmates to do it too!
- Post a picture of yourself holding the Light It Up Blue selfie sign on the city’s Facebook or Twitter page and use hashtag #LIUB #LIUBVB #CityofVaBeach.
- Turn your Facebook or Twitter profile picture blue.