BY KATHY CHANG
EDISON — The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower will be awash in blue lights every night in April to mark National Autism Awareness Month.
“Autism rates continue to steadily increase across our state, affecting many families in our community and throughout Middlesex County,” said Mayor Thomas Lankey, noting that a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released last year shows the disorder now affects one in every 41 New Jersey children.
Edison Township hopes to raise community awareness about autism with a series of April initiatives that started at a ceremony held at the Edison Memorial Tower, 37 Christie Street, on April 2, to officially light the tower blue.
The mayor, Edison Township Council members and municipal employees joined the Memorial Tower trustees and Middlesex County officials for the ceremony.
As part of the month-long initiative, Edison Fire Officers Local 2883 is selling blue Autism Awareness T-shirts that feature the town’s fire department, police department or Memorial Tower logos, said fire Capt. Andrew Toth.
All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization in the United States, said Toth. T-shirts will be sold to the public at Menlo Park Mall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday during the month of April.
On April 3, municipal employees wore their T-shirts in Edison Town Hall to support Autism awareness.