AU's Alpha Xi Delta prepares to Light It Up Blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month

(Photo credit: AU's Alpha Xi Delta Facebook page)
(Photo credit: AU's Alpha Xi Delta Facebook page)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - For the third year the women of Alpha Xi Delta's Zeta Xi Chapter at Auburn University are preparing to illuminate the campus blue in honor of Autism Awareness month.

The Light It Up Blue campaign will begin on April 2 with the illumination of Cater Hall in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. A ceremony will be held on the front lawn of Cater at 8 p.m.

Speakers include Julie Brown from The Learning Tree, Inc., Lauren Ferguson, area coordinator for Autism Speaks, and Doris Hill, a professor at Auburn who works with autism research.

Alpha Xi Delta encourages the community to support the Light It Up Blue campaign. Community members can support Autism Speaks by eating at Zoe's Cafe on Magnolia Avenue April 1 from 5-9. Ask your cashier to put the receipt in the bucket and part of the proceeds will directly benefit Autism Speaks.

Community members can also show support for Autism Speaks by illuminating their residences blue during the month of April. The Home Depot has partnered with Autism Speaks to provide blue light bulbs to people across the country. The light bulbs retail for $1.65, and $1 from each one purchased, up to $80,000, will benefit Autism Speaks. Visit your local Home Depot for more information.

Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 88 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis, as its cause and cure remain unknown.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autistic spectrum disorders. Since its inception by Suzanne and Bob Wright in 2005, Autism Speaks had made enormous strides, committing more than $160 million to research and developing innovative new resources for families. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light It Up Blue campaign. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

Alpha Xi Delta was founded in 1893 at Lombard College, now Knox College, in Galesburg, Ill. Alpha Xi Delta inspires women to realize their potential by providing opportunities for sisterhood, leadership, knowledge and service. The Zeta Xi Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was founded in 1979. Alpha Xi Delta partnered with Autism Speaks in 2009. Since the partnership, the Zeta Xi chapter has raised more than $100,000 for Autism Speaks. For more information on the Zeta Xi Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, please visit

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.