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Temecula presents 'Light It Up Blue' for Autism Awareness Month

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, the City of Temecula and Our Nicholas Foundation will Light it Up Blue at City Hall, 41000 Main Street, to commemorate and spread Autism Awareness for the month of April.

Light it Up Blue is a unique global initiative that helps to raise and shed light on Autism. In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores in the region are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part in Light it Up Blue. To kick off the event, the City of Temecula will be re-launching the Southwest Riverside Autism Task Force for its first quarter meeting of 2014 beginning at 6:30 pm, followed by the Light it Up Blue of City Hall.

The Southwest Riverside Autism Task Force (SRATF) consists of elected City Council Members/Mayors and County Board of Supervisors from the following jurisdictions: County of Riverside, City of Temecula, City of Canyon Lake, City of Hemet, City of Lake Elsinore, City of Menifee, City of Murrieta, City of Perris, and City of Wildomar. The SRATF was formed by elected members of each City and Riverside County, in collaboration with nonprofit organizations and experts, to seek solutions to the difficulties faced by the escalating population of children, families and communities affected by Autism.

Thousands of children throughout our region, like many other regions throughout the Nation, are impacted by Autism. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. In 2002 the Center for Disease Control reported that Autism affected about 1 in 150 children; and by 2012 the CDC estimate increased to 1 in 88. According to a recent government survey of parents, 1 in 50 school-age children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Council member Mike Naggar said, "Our lives are all touched in one way or another by the growing epidemic of Autism. I’m very proud of the efforts that we have taken to increase awareness, not only in children with Autism, but to all disabilities and that the Temecula City Hall will be lit up blue among other communities across the nation. I invite and encourage our local business and community members to do the same."

The City of Temecula recognizes that youth with special needs and their families have unique and complex issues that are not easily addressed. The City of Temecula is committed to inclusion and providing opportunities in the areas of safety, recreation, life and job skills, transportation, and more.

For the month of April and throughout the entire year, the City will be hosting several special needs programs and events.

Please be sure to pick up your bracelets and “Light It Up Blue” bulbs on April 2nd beginning at 6:30 pm at City Hall. For more information, please contact Yvette Martinez: Yvette.Martinez@cityoftemecula.org or (951) 693-3904.

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