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Edison raises funds for Autism Speaks

By Kathy Chang
Staff Writer

EDISON — In April, township officials began a month long initiative to raise awareness about autism by bathing the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower in blue lights.

On May 16, officials announced that during the month, they raised $8,240 to benefit programs that Autism Speaks-New Jersey sponsors throughout the Garden State, according to Fire Captain Andrew Toth, who organized the fundraising efforts.

Fundraising included selling blue Autism Awareness T-shirts that featured the town’s fire department, police department or Memorial Tower logos, which was led by Edison Fire Officers Local 2883.

Toth recently presented a check to Kristen Apen, the field development manager for Autism Speaks-NJ, at the Edison Municipal Complex.

They were joined during the presentation by Mayor Thomas Lankey, Edison Township Council members and a host of township employees who helped raise the money during April’s fundraising drive.

Edison’s contribution to Autism Speaks-NJ was collected during National Autism Awareness Month by members of the town’s International Federation of Firefighters Local 1197 and Local 2883, Edison PBA Local 75, and a number of non-union township employees.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences, according to Autism Speaks.

According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released last year, autism affects one in every 41 New Jersey children.

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