Pixs: 2nd Annual Eagles Taking Flight for Autism Fundraiser
Happy sadly, last day of “August”. The second annual Taking Flight for Autism event was held at Lincoln Financial Field last night and raised money for the autism support programs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the research programs at CHOP’s Center for Autism Research.
Earlier in the day I was at the Linc shooting a behind the scenes piece with Carson Wentz and got this shot of the set up of Taking Flight. (I’ll fill you in in October) If you’re in Rittenhouse Square today at noon, NRG Energy and I will be giving away Carson Wentz fans, for the fans.
2017 Eagles Hall Of Fame Inductee K David Akers and Eagles ChairmanSince 2016, Jeffrey Laurie.
The event has now raised $1.6 million for CHOP, announced Philadelphia Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) today.
Carson Wentz with guest
At Taking Flight for Autism, more than 600 guests joined the entire Eagles organization – players, coaches and front office executives – for an intimate dining experience at Lincoln Financial Field. Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour and dinner on the field, as well as a full program of football conversation and remarks from Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson and 2016 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee Merrill Reese. The evening’s guests purchased tables to support the cause.
Torrey Smith with guests
Carson Wentz with 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Merrill Reese in foreground
“Autism Spectrum Disorder is a critical public health issue that is now being recognized as one of the fastest-growing developmental conditions in the United States,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. “Autism touches the lives of millions of people around the world, including within my family. Over the years, we have made great progress with advanced research and treatment options, but there is so much more we can learn.
“I commend the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their progressive vision in this field and am confident that this financial support will contribute to their innovative work focused on autism research and programs.”
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that is typically recognized by the age of three. Individuals who have been touched by autism often experience verbal and non-verbal communication challenges, along with difficulties in the areas of social interaction and cognitive function. Autism is now being identified at a rate of one in 68 births – one in every 42 boys – making it the largest developmental disorder in the world. While there is no genetic test or cure for autism, its numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate.
Anthony Starego and Eagles Caleb Sturgis
Christina Weiss Lurie
Eagles Insider Dave Spado interviewing Eagles Coach Doug Peterson
In addition to 2017 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee David Akers, who attended the event and will be formally enshrined into the team’s Hall of Fame on October 23, a very special guest was also introduced – Anthony Starego. Starego is a Brick, NJ native who became the first varsity football player with autism in the United States to play in a high school state championship game and contribute points in the contest.
A placekicker like Akers, Starego is a 2015 graduate of Brick High School where he played football from 2009-13. Today, the 23-year-old Starego is the kicker for two minor league teams in the region, the Jersey Shore Hurricanes and the New Jersey Pitbulls. He was the leading kicker last year with the Pitbulls in extra points and set an NEAFL record seven extra points in one game.
ECF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that serves thousands of low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on improving health outcomes. ECF uses its unique platform to provide children in the Philadelphia region greater access to vision care and autism research and services. For more information, please visit www.EaglesCharitableFoundation.org.
Thanks to ECF for providing me with these photos. The event ended at 8PM and the boys were on buses up to NYC for tonight’s game with the Jets. Go Birds!!