The Philadelphia Eagles have announced the launch of 'Eagles Autism Foundation', a new endeavor that centralizes all of the Eagles' autism activities into one organization. Led by Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the team's commitment to autism research and care over the last two years has grown exponentially, raising more than $7 million dollars since September of 2017.
To learn more about Eagles Autism Foundation, visit www.EaglesAutismFoundation.org
"In just two short years, we have raised more than seven million dollars in new funding for local institutions focusing on autism research," said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. "As a symbol of our continued dedication, we are wrapping the end zones at Lincoln Financial Field with 'Eagles Autism Foundation' branding. Now, every touchdown, field goal, and red zone play in our home stadium will carry our message; take action for autism."
Championed by Lurie, whose family has been personally touched by autism, the Eagles Autism Foundation sets out to drive scientific breakthroughs and establish Philadelphia as a major center for autism research and care. By providing critical resources, supporting scientific discoveries and helping to position Philadelphia as a base for autism research and care, the Eagles Autism Foundation is creating a major shift from awareness to action.
"The Eagles Autism Challenge has evolved into so much more than a single day in May," said Ryan Hammond, Executive Director of the Eagles Autism Foundation. "We are excited to boldly showcase our continued commitment to autism through the Eagles Autism Foundation and leverage our platform to change the lives of those affected. This new foundation allows us to unite all our efforts and intensify our impact throughout the year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 59 people under the age of 21 living in the United States are on the autism spectrum. Autism is a complex neurological and developmental condition that expresses itself differently in each individual. The spectrum can range from having challenges in the areas of social skills and nonverbal communication to repetitive interests and behaviors. While it has become one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the country, it has historically been underfunded, misunderstood, and under-researched.
In partnership with leading institutions specializing in autism research, the Eagles are bringing fresh ways of thinking to the field. Thanks to the $2.5 million raised in 2018, a total of eight research projects have received grant funding. In February, a scientific advisory board was formed to independently evaluate and approve each proposal. The projects were assessed by Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, the lead scientific advisor, and nine internationally recognized researchers who have demonstrated a clear and steadfast commitment to autism research. The funding process for the $3.5 million raised in 2019 is currently underway and will award institutions with grants in early 2020. The Eagles Autism Challenge has received 52 Letters of Intent from seven Philadelphia-area institutions requesting grant funding, and of that, 29 research proposals are expected to be submitted by mid-September.
The Eagles Autism Foundation will include the following programs and events:
Eagles Autism Challenge
The Eagles Autism Challenge, presented by Lincoln Financial Group, is a one-day bike ride and family-friendly run/walk that begins and ends at Lincoln Financial Field. Join Philadelphia Eagles players, alumni, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and SWOOP for the Eagles Autism Challenge on Saturday, May 16, 2020. This event will feature a one-day bike ride and family-friendly 5K run/walk as well as a Friday Night Kick-Off Party at Lincoln Financial Field. 100% of participant-raised funds will go toward autism research and programs at our founding beneficiary institutions along with other institutions advancing autism research. Learn more about the Eagles Autism Challenge at eaglesautismchallenge.org
Huddle Up for Autism
Through a collective partnership with The Center for Autism Research (CAR) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Huddle Up for Autism serves to provide autism-friendly environments and events while working educate, fundraise and create awareness for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We support cutting-edge autism research that will provide guidance for families touched by ASD.
About Eagles Autism Foundation
The Eagles Autism Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for innovative autism research and programs. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism as well as future generations. Our event aims to inspire and engage the community, so together, we can provide much needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism.
Eagles Radiothon, presented by Santander Bank, recently transitioned to benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation and raised more than $363,500, the most ever in the twenty-year history. Eagles fans and SportsRadio 94WIP (WIP-FM) listeners had the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and SportsRadio 94WIP radio personalities. All proceeds will support those currently affected by autism as well as future generations by providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions.
Eagles Public Practice
Training camp practices at Lincoln Financial Field serve as a vehicle to drive critical funds for autism research and care, with proceeds benefiting the Eagles Autism Foundation. As part of the team's training camp practice on August 4, 2019, more than 45,000 fans came out to support the team, while raising over a half million dollars ($506k+) for the cause.
50/50 at Lincoln Financial Field
Beginning in 2019 the 50/50 Raffle will benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation. One lucky fan will walk away a winner after every Eagles home game this season. Fans can purchase tickets for a 50/50 drawing at Lincoln Financial Field for a chance to win half of the jackpot. The other half will support the Eagles Autism Foundation. Raffle tickets can be purchased from kiosks and/or roving sellers located throughout the stadium. Ticket sales will begin when gates open and conclude at the start of the 4th Quarter.