Michigan to “Light It Up Blue” for Autism Awareness

Photo Courtesy Light It Blue Michigan
Photo Courtesy Light It Blue Michigan
April 2 is the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day, and nearly 3,000 iconic buildings and landmarks in over 600 U.S. cities and 50 countries around the world will be illuminated in blue as a part of Autism Awareness Month.

The Light It Up Blue campaign was launched in 2010 by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, to help “shine a light on autism by raising awareness.”

Communities throughout the Mitten State are participating in this year’s global initiative, with some of Michigan’s most recognizable landmarks shining bright with blue light. The Mackinac Bridge will be lit with blue bulbs for the month of April, beginning with a bridge lighting ceremony April 2.

Photo Courtesy Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism
Photo Courtesy Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism
Also “Up North,” the Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism is hosting a Light It Up Blue event in downtown Traverse City April 2. Blue luminaries will be displayed at the Open Space along Grand Traverse Bay to light the TC waterfront in blue.

In Detroit, the Renaissance Center, Fisher Building, Fox Theater, MGM Grand, and DTE Energy headquarters will be among the buildings highlighted in blue in support of autism awareness.

The Michigan Science Center is offering an art contest and hands-on learning activities in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Visitors wearing blue on April 2 receive complimentary admission to the IMAX film, The Human Body, with purchase of admission to the special exhibit, Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion.

College campuses across the state, from Western Michigan to Eastern Michigan, are also joining the effort to support autism awareness. Students at U of M Dearborn will be painting The Rock with “Light It Up Blue” in honor of the occasion.

Photo Courtesy gmrencen.com
Photo Courtesy gmrencen.com
If you’re a college student, Autism Speaks is inviting you to show “how blue you can go” with a Light It Up Blue Photo Challenge. Capture a Light It Up Blue event on your campus or in your town, decorate your dorm or sorority/fraternity house in blue, or get your friends together and get decked out in blue, and capture your Light It Up Blue photo.

Want to Light It Up Blue in your own neighborhood? The Home Depot is offering special blue light bulbs to help consumers shine a light on autism, with $1 of each light bulb sold supporting Autism Speaks.

For more information about Light It Up Blue and Autism Awareness Month, visit http://www.autismspeaks.org.

-Nick Nerbonne, Contributing Writer

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