SOURCE: Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter
CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwire – September 17, 2010) – Dozens of families were in attendance at the Beard School to cheer on a local hero who is supporting Chicago families touched by autism. Brian Campbell, Defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks and founder of Campbell for Kids, presented the Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks with a $50,000 check in support of its free resources and toolkits available for families.
Early this year, Campbell hosted a Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament at Harrah’s Horseshoe Casino to raise funds for his new foundation, Campbell for Kids. Campbell for Kids, a nonprofit organization, is a foundation established to raise funds for charities that serve children with special needs and learning disabilities throughout Chicago and the state of Illinois. “I wanted to find a way to give back to my community,” said Campbell. “But more importantly, I wanted to focus on organizations that are near and dear to my heart.” During this first year, the focus has been to raise funds for autism, and Brian named Autism Speaks and the Beard School as charity partners.
“Autism Speaks is thrilled to partner with Campbell for Kids,” said Geof Vance, Chair of the Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter Board. “The inaugural Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and play poker with Chicago greats Tony Esposito, Jim McMahon, Patrick Kane, and of course, Brian Campbell and almost all of the other Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawk players, while raising funds to support families affected by autism right here in the Chicagoland area,” said Vance. “With the help of Campbell for Kids and the celebrities and others who participated in the tournament, we have been able to increase the number of resources and help many more families when they need us most.”
Autism Speaks offers free resources and toolkits to families touched by autism, made possible through the generous support of donors, including Campbell for Kids. The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit are offered to newly-diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis.
Families whose children have been diagnosed in the last six months may request a complimentary hard copy of the 100 Day Kit or the AS/HFA Tool Kit by calling 888-AUTISM2 (888-288-4762) and speaking with an Autism Response Team Coordinator. The toolkit is available, along with many other resources, for download online at www.AutismSpeaks.org.
Campbell announced details for the 2011 Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament, which will take place on January 18, 2011 at The Venue, located inside Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. “The support from my friends, teammates and the people of Chicago was tremendous. I look forward to growing my charity again this year and continuing to help kids and families in the Chicagoland area,” said Campbell.
Similar to last year’s event, guests will enjoy a star-filled gaming experience with tournament players that include members of the Chicago Blackhawks, Blackhawks Alumni, other celebrities and professional athletes. “As an added benefit to participants, any player who is responsible for eliminating an athlete or celebrity player from the tournament will literally get the Blackhawk’s jersey off his back,” said Campbell. Admission is $150 and includes drinks and dining, up-close tournament viewing, live casino gaming, entertainment and auctions with one of a kind packages. The Poker Tournament “buy-in” is an additional $175. Cash prizes will be awarded to the last standing tournament players.
For more information about the event and purchasing tickets, please visit www.campbellforkids.org. Please contact Clare McDermott at [email protected] for event partnership and sponsorship opportunities and to learn more about supporting Campbell for Kids.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception only five short years ago, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks also supports the Autism Treatment Network, Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and an award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council which has received over $210 million in donated media. Autism Speaks’ family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a community grant program and much more. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org or call the Chicagoland Chapter at 224-567-8573.
About Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell, a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and a three-time NHL All-Star, is entering his 12th season in the league and third with the Blackhawks. The 31-year-old blueliner has racked up 236 assists, 285 points and 161 penalty minutes in 561 career regular season NHL games which includes 90 points (14G, 76A) in two seasons with Chicago. Campbell has helped his teams reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the last five seasons, collecting 35 points (7G, 28A) in 83 career postseason games. The Blackhawks posted a 15-4 record with Campbell in the lineup during their run to the 2010 Stanley Cup. The Strathroy, Ontario, native tallied the only assist on Chicago’s overtime, Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Finals on June 9, 2010.
An NHL All-Star in 2007, 2008 and 2009, Campbell has also skated with the Buffalo Sabres (1999-2008) and San Jose Sharks (2008) before being signed as a free agent by the Blackhawks on July 1, 2008. Prior to turning pro, Campbell captured the 1999 Memorial Cup as a member of the Ottawa 67’s (Ontario Hockey League).
Campbell for Kids
Brian Campbell, Defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, is founder of the Campbell for Kids organization. The mission of the foundation is to raise funds for charities throughout Chicago and Illinois that service children with special needs and learning disabilities. For more information, visit www.campbellforkids.org.