Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Dover International Speedway will continue their support for autism awareness by participating in the global “Light It Up Blue” campaign, organized by Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, in April.
Two of Delaware’s most famous landmarks, the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza presented by Smithfield, as well as the Dover Downs Hotel, will be illuminated in blue light throughout April, coinciding with Autism Awareness Month.
The Monster Monument at Victory Plaza is 46-feet tall, and is the largest fiberglass sports monument in the country. Since its debut in 2008, it has become the symbol of Dover International Speedway throughout the motorsports world. The hotel, Delaware’s largest with 500 rooms, has been serving thousands of guests per year since it opened in 2002.
Autism is a summary term for a group of brain development disorders, characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest statistics show that 1 in 68 U.S. children have autism.
Dover International Speedway has had a long relationship with autism awareness. The “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15, will mark the 10th consecutive year the Monster Mile’s spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will have an autism awareness element within the entitlement sponsorship.
Also on May 15, the track will host an Autism Awareness Day at the Races program for families and children on the autism spectrum for the fifth straight year. The package provides a sensory-friendly environment to watch the race, and also features pre-race appearances by NASCAR drivers and personalities, seating in air-conditioned grandstands, presentations by educational speakers, food and beverage options, as well as a quiet zone, with muted lighting and sound, allowing attendees to take a break from the race and crowds when necessary.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Dover International Speedway proudly partner with Autism Delaware’s Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation Program, which provides employment opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum. Eleven people on the autism spectrum are employed by Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Dover International Speedway in a variety of capacities. Through the partnership, both companies have gained highly productive, reliable employees, and emphasize defining a person by their ability, not disability.
To help support this partnership, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino donated office space to Autism Delaware in 2013. The office supports the POW&R program, and provides a Kent County office for Autism Delaware, which offers adult services, clinical services and family support.
For more information about Light It Up Blue, visit www.autismspeaks.org/liub.
For more information about Autism Delaware, visit delautism.org.