Local club and community members “Light It Up Blue” for Autism Awareness Day

The evening ended with the crowd lighting blue paper lanterns to remember those with autism and sending them into the sky. Photo by Bridget Shileny

The night skies were lit up near the school last Tuesday night as several blue lanterns were sent skyward.  Tuesday, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day, and the FRIENDS Club at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School celebrated it with the help of the community.  A few dozen people turned out despite the drizzly weather to mark the event.

            The event opened with C-G-D Special Education Instructor Alicia Schaben welcoming everyone and explaining the purpose of the night.  “Light It Up Blue” is a worldwide event to raise awareness about autism and to benefit the Autism Speaks organization. For the C-G-D event, community members could purchase blue lanterns. The proceeds were split between Autism Speaks and the FRIENDS club, which Schaben is also heads.  The FRIENDS Club strives to bring together students of different abilities, needs and learning levels within the school, including students with autism. Schaben said, “It was special for the Friends Club in particular to sponsor this event because there are students and some individuals who have family members who have autism in our community. These individuals are friends and peers to many in our school.”

For the full story, see the April 11th edition of the Monitor.