GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 23, 2010 - Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, and Dollar General (NYSE: DG), the nation’s largest discount retailer by number of stores, today announced their partnership to increase awareness of autism and raise funds for autism research and advocacy during Autism Awareness Month in April. To kick off the month-long campaign, Dollar General has donated $50,000 to Autism Speaks.
“We are excited to partner with Dollar General and very grateful for their support and commitment to our cause,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “This partnership will raise critical funds for our research and advocacy efforts and also bring our awareness message to Dollar General’s millions of customers.”
Throughout April, Dollar General will offer customers the opportunity to make donations to Autism Speaks during check-out. In addition, the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo will appear on Dollar General’s NASCAR Nationwide Series No. 32 car and Sarah Fisher’s No. 67 IZOD IndyCar Series car for the month of April to drive awareness for the campaign. Dollar General will make an additional $50,000 donation to Autism Speaks for every race won by either Dollar General car in April.
“We are proud to partner with Autism Speaks to support the fight against autism,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar General. “Many of our customers are affected by this disorder, and we are happy to offer them the opportunity to help fund research for the cause.”
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 the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception only five short years ago, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $131 million to research and developing innovative new resources for families through 2014. 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 also supports the Autism Treatment Network, 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 and an award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council which has received over $200 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, a community grant program and much more. 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. 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 www.autismspeaks.org.
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 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 serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and is a Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world for their commitment to global autism advocacy.
About Dollar General
Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with more than 8,800 neighborhood stores. Dollar General stores provide convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $40 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 2.1 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit www.dollargeneral.com.