LIVINGSTON, NJ — As part of National Autism Awareness Month, the Livingston community will raise funds and awareness for Autism New Jersey through the annual “Shine a Light on Autism” event on Tuesday at the Memorial Oval gazebo beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Bob Gebroe, chair of the Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD), accepted a proclamation from the township on behalf of the autism community last week declaring April 2019 as Autism Awareness Month in Livingston.
“This year, it’s most important to raise awareness because autism is more prevalent, especially in New Jersey, than ever before,” said Gebroe, who shared that a reason study found that one in 35 children born in New Jersey is diagnosed with autism by age four. “That’s a huge number when you think about it, and the key is diagnose it at an early age. That becomes so important in the development of the child.”
Mayor Al Anthony reiterated the township’s consistent support of this cause, acknowledging the work done by community members like Heidi Rome, who recently opened Moms Spectrum Oasis to support mothers of children with autism, as well as events like the upcoming PBA Golf Outing, which will raise funds for both Spectrum360 and Spectrum Works.
Anthony will join representatives of Autism New Jersey on Tuesday to discuss the importance of raising awareness about autism. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the event along with entertainment by Deejay Music.
Also in attendance will be Livingston’s “Super 6,” which consists of sixth graders Michael Ileya, Austin Carr, Samay Malde, Hriday Dabhi and Ritvik Maridi, who have been Jr. Autism Awareness Ambassadors for five years. During the month of April, the Super 6 raised $2,170 for Autism New Jersey, raising most of it through a Facebook fundraiser in a little more than a week.
They have also been soliciting for donations outside of local stores, made an informative video and even spoke at an event in Jersey City. The six will present a check to Autism New Jersey during the event.
Residents are encouraged to show their support by wearing blue to show and taking a lap around the oval.
Click HERE to read about last year’s event.