For the third year, Costa Mesa-based Hyundai Motor America has joined national nonprofit Autism Speaks as the title sponsor of the annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks. A 2012 Hyundai Tucson set the pace for last Saturday’s 5k race, which raised more than $1.5 million for the cause and educated the public about the increasing prevalence of autism and the need for further research.
Autism in children has increased tenfold in the past 40 years and now occurs in 1 in 88 children; there is no cure for the brain development disorder. April is National Autism Awareness Month, and the walk gathered 30,000 participants at the Rose Bowl last Saturday, including families of children with autism.
Hyundai Executive Director Ruth Eisen opened the event by addressing the need to raise funds for autism research.
"As the mother of a child with autism, I am proud to work for Hyundai and to see its commitment and compassion for children's health," she said. "Hyundai and I are honored to have been a part of the 2012 Walk Now for Autism Speaks and to help increase research for, and awareness of, autism to better the quality of life of the kids and families dealing with autism every day."
"We are so proud to have company sponsors like Hyundai involved with Autism Speaks," said Matt Asner, executive director for Autism Speaks Los Angeles. "They are leading the way in corporate social responsibility, showing families like the ones we serve at Autism Speaks that they are here for us, and support us, and support autism awareness in our community."
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