RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle Seahawks announced today the arch lights on the roof of CenturyLink Field will be among many iconic monuments around the world being illuminated blue to support the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
In addition, the team will donate 10% of sales to "Ben's Fund" for every regular priced hat and knit cap sold during the month of April at the team's four retail stores. The retail stores, known as THE PRO SHOP, are located at CenturyLink Field, 401 Pike Street, The Landing in Renton and Alderwood Mall.
Ben's Fund, launched in 2012 by Seahawks Executive Vice President/General Manager John Schneider and his wife Traci in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), provides grants to families across Washington State to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and numerous other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum.
"On average, autism costs a family approximately $60,000 a year," said Seahawks GM John Schneider. "We created Ben's Fund to help ease the financial stress that impacts families with a child on the spectrum."
Ben's Fund was established at FEAT in order to provide grants to families for their children on the spectrum and to drive families to FEAT so they will be connected to a larger community to receive ongoing guidance and assistance as they continue their journey with autism. One in 68 children and one in 42 boys are affected with autism.
"Through Ben's Fund, we have raised more than $850,000 and distributed more than $400,000 dollars in grants to over 500 families in the state," said Traci Schneider. "These grants help pay for a variety of therapies, services and even tablets to help with communication."
The primary fundraiser for Ben's Fund is an annual celebrity waiter's event with participation from Seahawks players and coaches. Prime Time will be held on April 23 at El Gaucho and is sold-out for the fourth consecutive year.