Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada is coming to Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Sept. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autism Speaks Canada, part of North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization is proud to announce that the Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada fundraising and awareness event will take place on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at Central Park in Burnaby. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks' work both locally and nationally to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder, fund autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in Vancouver and across all of Canada.

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks Canada, raising nearly $1.2 million in 2014 to support autism research, services, awareness and advocacy. In addition to its national efforts, the organization has provided funding to local services providers;

Autism Community Training (ACT), Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism, Osoyoos Autism Beavioural Centre and Society, PALS Autism School, Search & Rescue Society of B.C., Sushwap Children's Association, Surrey School District, Capilano University Disability Services, Chilliwack Society for Communtiy Living, Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society and Pacific Autism Family Centre.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a 3 km Walk, Interactive Area with activities and a Community Resource Fair with 13 organizations and small businesses owners ranging from educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities – a true "one-stop-shop" for families impacted by autism; Sources Community Resource Center, Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society, Sirota's Alchymy Martial Arts Centre, Autism Support Network, Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation, Canucks Autism Network, Autism Society of BC, Semiahmoo House Society - Recreation & Leisure Services, ACT- Autism Community Training, CBI Monarch House, CAOT-BC (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists-BC Chapter), Aunt Leah's Place & Snug Vest.

"Thanks to tremendous community support and the work of our wonderful volunteers, our Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada event has made an enormous impact on the work that our organization is able to support each and every year" said Jill Farber, Executive Director. "In addition to raising funds and awareness, the Walk is a chance for families to come together, support each other, and make connections. Working together, we are making great strides toward improving the lives of people with autism and their families."

"Thanks to the help of sponsors, walkers and generous donors, 2015 is gearing up to be a success," said Melanie Haydon, National Director Walks and Community Events, Autism Speaks Canada.

Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® proudly serve as National Presenting Sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada. Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us will host a tented area at The Walk, serving as home base for the company's mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. We are also excited to announce McDonalds Restaurants of Canada and National Bank as local sponsors and appreciate the tremendous support of our media partners; Global B.C., 93.7 JR FM and JR Media Group.

For more information about the 2015 Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca or contact your walk manager at bcwalknow@autismspeakscan.ca.

About Autism

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.

About Autism Speaks Canada

Autism Speaks, along with Autism Speaks Canada, is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Autism Speaks Canada is committed to building the capacity for research and services across the country; raising public awareness; and collaborating with other organizations to speak alongside the autism community. Since its inception, Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks Canada have invested over $200 million into scientific research, $6 million of which has been committed towards leading Canadian autism research. Since 2010, over $2.5 million has been granted to organizations across Canada to increase their capacity to support individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Speaks Canada is committed to raising the funds necessary to improve lives today and transform lives tomorrow across the autism spectrum and along the lifespan.

CONTACT: Carrie Habert carriehabert@autismspeakscan.ca 1-888-362-6227 x 208 Janet Anderson janetanderson@autismspeakscan.ca 1-888-362-6227 x 207

Source: Autism Speaks Canada