Charlotte Skips Autism Awareness Campaign
The night of April 1, the Empire State building was lit it up blue. So was the Miami Tower in Miami. Also Wrigley Building in Chicago. And stores across the country, like a Tommy Hilfiger shop in Manhattan.
But in Charlotte? Not Bank of America. Not Wachovia. Not the Panthers stadium. Not the Government Center. One local woman says, “Charlotte - a city who lights up a building blue for a football game - but can't light up a building one night to shine light upon a very important cause that is affecting more and more children.”
FOX Charlotte's Morgan Fogarty asked reps at several of Charlotte's big time buildings and they all said the same thing: they never got a request to participate. A city spokeswoman also said it would be too expensive to light up the Government Center in blue. It's disappointing news to people like Cindy Anderson of Huntersville. Her five-year-old son, Harris, is one of the 50,000 people in North Carolina who are autistic. She says, "I think it would be great for Charlotte to light it up blue."
Anderson is raising awareness on a more personal level on her Facebook page, called "Autism Visual Art Gallery." She says, "I'm really excited about it because I'm connecting with other parents." A "part-time artist" herself, she's encouraged her 140 plus fans to submit their "Light It Up Blue" inspired art. Anything goes, even a picture of her blue pedicure!
Anderson says seeing Charlotte in blue sends a message that people care. She hopes the rest of the month long campaign generates more participation. "There's still time if there are employers out there who want to light it up blue, the Panthers stadium, we'd love to see it, parents would get a kick out of it."
FOX Charlotte called Autism Speaks, the parent company behind the Light It Up Blue campaign, to find out what buildings in the Charlotte area they reached out to and also to find out if nearby cities Atlanta and Raleigh are participating. At broadcast time, a rep had not called us back.
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