Media & Press

Women's Hockey Partners with Autism Speaks U

Official Website of Colgate Athletics
Staff Writer

HAMILTON, N.Y. (1/20/11) – The Colgate women's hockey team has established an Autism Speaks U chapter to support the work of Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Autism Speaks U engages college students across the country in autism awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts.

“We are honored that Colgate University and its women's hockey team have decided to support Autism Speaks to increase autism awareness,” said Sarah Caminker, Online Community Fundraiser Manager of Autism Speaks. “The support of Colgate University will help Autism Speaks continue to fund research aimed at unraveling the mysteries of autism and helping those families who are affected by this complicated disorder.”

The Raiders created this project in support of Kati Williams, a local teenager from Norwich, N.Y. Kati has been an avid fan of Colgate Women's hockey for several years and now works as the team manager. She has Asperger's Syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

For more information about the project's events please visit

“We are excited to bring Autism Speaks U to Colgate's community and hope students will get involved in our efforts to make not only our campus, but the broader community, more aware of what autism is, how it affects people and how we can all make a difference for those affected by autism,” said Wiley who, along with his team, is one of the co-founders of the Autism Speaks U Colgate University chapter. “Autism is now diagnosed in 1 in every 110 children. That's a staggering number, and it also means that if you don't know someone with autism already, you will soon. It's time for all of us to get involved.”

Launched in 2008, Autism Speaks U is an innovative and collaborative program for college students who want to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks, while supporting their local autism communities. Student-organized events take place both on and off campus and range from hosting a 5K run to organizing a benefit concert, to organizing a panel discussion about autism. While many of the students involved with Autism Speaks U have a personal connection to autism, others not directly affected have also joined the program to support the cause.

Since its inaugural event at Penn State University in 2006, Autism Speaks U events have raised close to $800,000 and student-organized Walk Now for Autism Speaks teams have brought in millions more. “Since creating Autism Speaks U's first event at Penn State University, we remain committed to leading college students nationwide in the fight against autism,” said Adam Dorfman and Andrew Moses, co-founders of Autism Speaks U.

Autism Speaks U events and chapters exist at colleges and universities across the country, including: Penn State University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Connecticut, Duke University, California State University-Northridge, University of Maryland and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

College students, faculty and alumni can get involved with Autism Speaks U by visiting

ABOUT AUTISM 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 North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, 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 $249 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 and a community grant program. 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

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS CO-FOUNDERS Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners, Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. He also serves on the boards of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Suzanne Wright has an extensive history of active involvement in community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping children. She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and is also Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. Suzanne has received numerous awards such as the CHILD Magazine Children's Champions Award, Luella Bennack Volunteer Award, Spirit of Achievement award by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's National Women's Division and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world for their commitment to global autism advocacy.

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Date: 1/20/2011