U.S. Embassy Partners with REACH to Observe Autism Awareness Day
Wednesday, April 2 was observed globally as Autism Awareness Day and for the second consecutive year the United States Embassy partnered with the Resources and Education for AUTISM and Related Challenges (REACH) for the “Light it Up Blue” ceremony, to officially observe the occasion in Rawson Square, downtown, Nassau.
The Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Sir Arthur and Lady Foulkes, Prime Minister Perry G. Christie, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. John L. Armstrong were among the dignitaries on hand for the event.
In his remarks, President of the REACH organization Mario Carey publicly thanked the United States Embassy for its continued support. He indicated that for the second consecutive year, the Embassy donated blue light bulbs to REACH to distribute to local businesses to participate in the “Light it Up Blue” campaign where owners are encouraged to use the blue lighting throughout the month of April in a visible show of support of autism awareness. The U.S. Embassy’s official residence has joined Bahamian iconic landmarks, hotels and local businesses in the campaign.
Mr. Carey also used the occasion to highlight a three-day conference on “Autism – Promoting Inclusion, Advocacy and Early Detection” facilitated by the U.S. Embassy last September that featured Dr. Valerie Karr, Ph.D., an expert on autism detection and early intervention strategies.
The “Light it Up Blue” ceremony included performances by several local primary and special needs schools and a light of hope tribute where the dignitaries were given a symbolic candle in a show of support for autism awareness, followed by the release of blue balloons. The evening concluded with performances by the Urban Renewal band and the Prodigal Sons Junkanoo group.
For more information about the REACH organization visit: www.autismbahamas.com.
United States Embassy, Nassau
Top: Mario Carey, President, REACH and his son Cole with Prime Minister Perry G. Christie, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. John L. Armstrong. Back row: Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald.
Side: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. John Armstrong participates in the rushout with the Prodigal Sons Junkanoo group.
Bottom: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. John Armstrong with Co-chairs of Urban Renewal Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen.charity, community, health, society