"Light it Up Blue" raises awareness for autism - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

"Light it Up Blue" raises awareness for autism

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WHEELING. W.Va. -

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, the Augusta Levy Learning Center asked the city of Wheeling to "Light It Up Blue" and help spread autism awareness. 

Local businesses and the community delivered with overwhelming support.

"Our main objective is just to raise awareness and raise acceptance of children, individuals with autism. A place like Augusta Levy would not probably exist anywhere but a place like Wheeling, where the community has come together to support us," said Staci Stephen, Director of Development at Augusta Levy Learning Center.

It was an explosion of blue at Figaretti's, Ye Olde Alpha, and Whisk Bakery which donated half of the proceeds from their blue cupcake sales to Augusta Levy.

Co-owner Lara Graves says they made more than 20 dozen cupcakes for the cause, a cause that is close to their hearts. 

"We love being part of the community, but this actually was a little more personal involvement for us. We consider a lot of our staff like family, and one of our staff's son has autism. We wanted to give back to the community through cupcakes and also just sharing our love for her family," said Graves. 

Love was a common theme on this day for autism awareness.

Elizabeth Holden's son was diagnosed at 18 months. She says the love and support her family has received from Augusta Levy has been life changing. She hopes that by spreading awareness, more children on the spectrum will experience that love.

"I think it's important to the community because autism diagnoses are on the rise, and I think that the community really needs to be educated. They need to support, they need to go ahead and teach their children that these kids aren't anything but different. They're not any less. They love. They feel. They just do it in a different way."

So why "Light It Up Blue"? It's because boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls. 

The Augusta Levy Learning Center would like anyone who participated in "Light It Up Blue" to send pictures. 

You can email them to StaciStephen@gmail.com.

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