LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston residents helped the Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD) and Senior Youth & Leisure Services (SYLS) paint the Memorial Oval blue on Thursday at their annual “Shine a Light on Autism” event.

Remarks by Brynn Alberici, manager of special events and community relations for Autism New Jersey, Deputy Mayor Ed Meinhardt and the Livingston High School’s student government president raised awareness about autism.

“What brings us here today is the need to continue to raise autism awareness and welcome individuals and families into the community,” said Alberici. “Our goal is to improve and enrich the lives of these families every day through acts of kindness and compassion. Together we can and we will make the future brighter for those in the autism community.”

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The “Super Six,” a group of local youth participating in the Autism New Jersey Ambassadors Program, also addressed the crowd about their effort to raise funds for autism awareness and make a positive impact on the community. Together, the Super Six presented a check to Autism New Jersey at the event and reiterated the importance of raising awareness and acceptance in the schools and community.

“Every child is different and we can conquer anything with love,” the group said.

On behalf of the council, Meinhardt thanked Alberici, the Super Six, LACD chair Bob Gebroe and his team for bringing causes like this to the community’s attention and organizing fundraising events for families to participate in and enjoy.

Participants in the event made a lap around the Oval despite the rain and enjoyed snacks, DJ music and Autism Awareness merchandise that were made available.

Despite being unable to attend the event, Mayor Shawn Klein shared remarks on Autism awareness as well.

“Autism is a devastating disease and it’s being diagnosed more and more often,” he said. “It’s important for communities to recognize the problem, to provide support for the families that are affected by it and to provide funds for research.”

Autism New Jersey has been the state’s lead advocacy organization for more than 50 years, serving individuals with autism as well as their caregivers and families through information services, education and training, public policy work on important issues, and awareness campaigns.