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MC celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

April 5, 2013

Photo Courtesy of Monmouth College - Monmouth College lights Wallace Hall up blue for Autism Awareness Day.

Students around campus may have been surprised to see blue beards and blue hair streaks around campus April 2. The splash of color is courtesy of the women of Alpha Xi Delta, who dyed beards and hair to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorders on World Autism Awareness Day.

Senior Patrick Corrigan sported a new dyed cobalt beard for the cause.

“I dyed my beard blue to spread awareness about autism, and having a blue beard sounded cool, too.”

Alpha Xi Delta has been raising funds and the awareness all year as part of their national philanthropy Autism Speaks.

“Each semester we try to put on an event to raise money for Autism Speaks, but this year we did much more than we have done in the past,” said junior Lydia Butler, president of Alpha Xi Delta, “[including] events just to raise awareness. Dying beards blue and lighting up the cupola on Wallace Hall are just a few ways that we try to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Photo Courtesy of Annie Soto - MC Alum Annie Soto spreads awareness in front of the Bean in Chicago.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around one in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum – which is ten-times more prevalent than 40 years ago. The women of Alpha Xi Delta hope that their efforts will help close the gap between the number of children living with autism and the limited treatment and understanding available. Further, they hope that growing awareness of autism will help those living with autism find more acceptance within the community and decrease incidents of bullying.

For Butler, the issue is near to her heart.

“Being able to raise awareness is a great thing. I know families that have children with Autism, and with it becoming so prevalent in our society, it is important to shine a light on this issue. As a chapter, and more importantly as a National Fraternity, we are trying our hardest to support this cause and raise awareness in several different ways.”

Sarah Zaubi

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