ROCHESTER, NY (8/11/2011) Team Jackpot, a Webster family’s fundraising team, has joined forces with Autism Speaks to host its first ever art exhibition and silent auction to “Celebrate the abilities of local children on the autism spectrum.” The event has been made possible by The Debbie Renna-Hynes Team at Keller Williams Realty (an artist and former art teacher) with the support of other local businesses, It will feature artwork by local children diagnosed with autism. Launch Parties will be held on both Friday, August 12th from 6:00-8:00pm, and Saturday, August 13th from 10:00am-2:00pmat The CDS Wolf Life Transitions Center in Webster. The exhibition will remain there for 2 weeks then move to The Pieters Family Life Center’s Garden Café art gallery in Henrietta for a further 2 weeks starting with a Launch Party there on Friday 9th Sept from 6-8pm. Both of these excellent local facilities support families and provide programs that encourage abilities in those who, too often, are defined by their disability. These receptions are aimed at not only raising awareness about autism, but to showcase and celebrate the talent that lies within these individuals with autism, regardless of whether they are verbal or non-verbal.  The event will feature artwork of multiple mediums by more than 50 local residents, at varying age ranges, living with autism.  Images and short bios of those creating the pieces will be shown, to help put a face to this puzzle that we call autism.  Silent auction bids will be collected for each of the pieces until 2pm on Saturday 13th August. Pieces will remain part of the exhibition until its close on Sept. 26th. Proceedswill benefit Team Jackpot and the 9th annual Rochester Walk Now for Autism Speaks which takes place on Saturday, September 24th at Frontier Field.   

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks. Last year’s Rochester Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted more than 3,500walkers and raised over $183,000. This year, thousands of walkers – including individuals with autism, their families and friends – will join together at Frontier Field on Saturday, Sept. 24th (registration at 12:30pm, Walk starts 2:00pm) to raise much-needed funds for critical scientific research, advocacy efforts, family services and to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder, which is now diagnosed in 1 in 110 children, at the Rochester Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  


Kate, an art major herself, has a son on the spectrum "I have always encouraged my son to play with paint; it has provided a sensory outlet for him and a means of self expression, it’s how he learned his colors. All the children had fun and should be very proud of their “masterpieces”! There's always talk about the disability it was time to celebrate abilities, and we certainly found some talent. The exhibition and silent auctionpromises to be an eye-opening experience that takes on special meaning by benefiting the upcoming Rochester Walk Now for Autism Speaks, and showing what children with autism can do when given the opportunity and love, to let them be themselves. It’s a showcase of our homegrown talent,” said Kate Clemont, team captain of Team Jackpot, whose team has raised over $35,000 in the last 5 years.“Everyone is encouraged to come out to show their support for these young artists, and to help raise awareness about autism.” Next year there is talk of opening up the experience to siblings and adults…


Admission to the exhibition and silent auction are free and open to the public. Attendees can RSVP to, but reservations are NOT required. For more information, email or call (866) 500-6227.  

For more information about the 2011 Rochester Walk Now for Autism Speaks, please visit, call (866) 500-6227, or email

For the fifth straight year, Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® proudly serves as the North American sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us will host a tented area at the Walk, serving as home base for the company’s mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. Attendees are welcome to stop by and sign their children up for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club. They can also pick-up the“Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” handout and see this selection of everyday toys that can help build skills of children with autism, created in collaboration with Autism Speaks.

About Autism

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks’ Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light it Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council has received over $249 million in donated media. Autism Speaks’ family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


About the Co-Founders

Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners, Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. He also serves on the boards of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Suzanne Wright has an extensive history of active involvement in community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping children. She is a Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. Suzanne has received numerous awards, such as the CHILD Magazine Children’s Champions Award, Luella Bennack Volunteer Award, Spirit of Achievement award by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's National Women's Divisionand The Women of Vision Award from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100 Heroes and Pioneers category, a list of the most influential people in the world, for their commitment to global autism advocacy. They have also received numerous awards such as the first ever 'Double Helix Award for Corporate Leadership, NYU Child Advocacy Award, Castle Connolly National Health Leadership Award and The American Ireland Fund Humanitarian Award. In May of 2010 they received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degrees from St. John’s University in Queens and delivered the commencement address as the first married couple to be bestowed such an honor.  


About CDS, Inc.

Located at 860 Hard Rd. in Webster, NY.  Telephone:  (585) 341-4600

For 34 years, CDS has been a leader in offering both quality and choice of services to people. CDS provides residential, employment, day-habilitation services, as well as case managements to 1,500 people with disabilities throughout Monroe and Wayne Counties.  CDS’ newest programs include Warrior SALUTE™ and Monarch Senior Living.  

To learn more about CDS visit  


About Pieters Family Life Center

Located at 1025 Commons Way in Rochester, NY. Telephone: (585) 487-3500.

The Pieters Family Life Center is a health and wellness facility for people of all ages and abilities. It recognizes each person as a unique individual with needs and opportunities for growth in overall health and wellness. The PFLC offers affordable family fitness memberships, a variety of traditional and creative therapies, a state-of-the-art fitness and therapy pool; and a variety of recreational and therapeutic programs for youths with and without disabilities and more.