Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Coach Lavar Click-Bruce and Ayanna Crawford for helping to organize this wonderful and heartfelt event. Special thanks to John Roberson from CHD and Jacqueline Williams-Hines for their unyielding efforts, support and compassion. I am proud to stand with, support and help bring awareness to Autism in the City of Springfield. Since taking office I have placed a blue light bulb on our first floor here at City Hall that illuminates the beautiful Autism art work that we have proudly displayed here at Springfield City Hall. This year, we had the privilege and honor of having the wonderful and talented Tori Ackley from the Berkshire Hills Music Academy preform and sing – such a lovely voice too. God Bless our beautiful children and their families as we come together to Light It Up Blue to show our love and support during the Month of April.”
In addition to the ceremony today at City Hall, the parking garage at Union Station will be lit up blue in support of Autism Awareness Day. Of note, the first Pop-Up shop vendor for Union Station is a young autistic illustrator. Azariah Cardona is a twenty year old and graduate of Springfield Central High School who will be displaying her creative talents at the Kiosk shop in Union Station. Ms. Cardona creates her own jewelry, comic books, posters, stickers and ephemera that largely focuses on her experiences as a deaf adult living with autism. Her shop will be on display from Saturday, April 2nd through Monday, April 4th at Union Station from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to help increase awareness. The City of Springfield is proud to join and support this 10th Annual Light It Up Blue campaign in support of this global Autism awareness initiative.