Submitted By: Samone Devoe
Coaches Powering Forward for Autism will return to the basketball courts for its third season. The movement, which will take place during the weekend of February 19 – 21, 2016, began in 2014 when coaches Pat Skerry and Tom Herrion sought to raise autism awareness. The inspiration behind this movement came from their sons who were both diagnosed with autism. During the weekend, over 250 NCAA coaches and their staff will wear the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece pin to help raise awareness and funds for autism research and advocacy programs. The goal is to raise $6,800 per school, representing the 1 in 68 children that are on the autism spectrum.
Supporters of Coaches Powering Forward for Autism include ESPN Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas and Naismith Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Calhoun. Here’s what these top names in college basketball have to say about the initiative:
“I am excited to be part of Coaches Powering Forward for Autism again this season. It’s important to draw as much attention to autism as possible. Working with Tom, Pat and Autism Speaks on Coaches Powering Forward for Autism does this and will help improve the lives of those with autism.” Jay Bilas
“I first became involved with Autism Speaks when one of my grandchildren was diagnosed. I was impressed with the work that Autism Speaks was doing and quickly realized the importance of wearing the puzzle piece pin on the sidelines. It serves a couple of purposes, including creating much- needed awareness while getting more people involved. Coaches Powering Forward for Autism will enable the college coaching community to use their visibility to help all of us make the lives of those with autism a little better.” Jim Calhoun
If you would like to participate in Coaches Powering Forward for Autism, find your favorite coach or school at www.autismspeaks.org/coachpower. The funds will go toward Autism Speaks’ research and advocacy efforts.
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, Autism Speaks continues its mission of funding research into autism, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, and advocating for individuals with autism and their families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.