The Utah Jazz and Vivint Gives Back, the philanthropic arm of Vivint Smart Home, will host Autism Awareness Night on April 1 during the Jazz vs. Minnesota Timberwolves game at Vivint Smart Home Arena. World Autism Day is April 2.
Vivint Gives Back has donated 600 tickets to the April 1 game for families with children on the autism spectrum. Jazz players Alec Burks, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Joe Ingles have also donated their blocks of tickets to local schools and non-profit groups that work with autistic children.
“Vivint is proud to partner with the Utah Jazz to support those in our community who are impacted by autism and raise awareness about the challenges they face in daily life,” said Todd Pedersen, CEO and founder of Vivint Smart Home. “As a leading smart home provider, we are dedicated to keeping families safe, and believe that advanced home technologies can provide both peace of mind and a practical solution for families with autistic children.”
Prior to tipoff, more than 25 youth with autism will stand with members of the Jazz and Timberwolves during the National Anthem. During the third quarter, a moment of celebration will take place for all families in attendance that have been touched by autism. Two families will be recognized by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment President Steve Starks and Pedersen at center court. Fans will be asked to light the arena bowl blue with 15,000 blue glow foam sticks, which will be handed out upon entry to the arena.
All Jazz fans attending the game are encouraged to wear Jazz blue. The Jazz coaching staff and broadcasters will be wearing “Autism Speaks” lapel pins.
From March 31-April 3, the NBA will partner with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, for the seventh consecutive year to recognize Autism Awareness Week. On April 2, worldwide iconic buildings and landmarks will “Light It Up Blue” in a unique global initiative for World Autism Day.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. One in 48 youth in Utah are diagnosed with autism, while an estimated one in 68 children in the United States is on the autism spectrum.