40 2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE IN THE COMMUNITY
EAGLES EXPAND COMMITMENT TO AUTISM RESEARCH,
LAUNCH EAGLES AUTISM FOUNDATION The Philadelphia Eagles have announced the launch of Eagles Autism Foundation, a new endeavor that centralizes all of
the Eagles’ autism activities into one organization. Led by Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the team’s commitment to autism
research and care over the last two years has grown exponentially, raising more than $7 million dollars since September
To learn more about EaglesAutism Foundation, visit EaglesAutismFoundation.org
“In just two short years, we have raised more than seven million dollars in new funding for local institutions focusing on
autism research,” said Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie. “As a symbol of our continued dedication, we are wrapping the end
zones at Lincoln Financial Field with ‘Eagles Autism Foundation’ branding. Now, every touchdown, field goal, and red zone
play in our home stadium will carry our message; take action for autism.”
Championed by Lurie, whose family has been personally touched by autism, the Eagles Autism Foundation sets out to drive
scientific breakthroughs and establish Philadelphia as a major center for autism research and care. By providing critical
resources, supporting scientific discoveries and helping to position Philadelphia as a base for autism research and care, the
Eagles Autism Foundation is creating a major shift from awareness to action.
“The Eagles Autism Challenge has evolved into so much more than a single day in May,” said Ryan Hammond, executive
director of the Eagles Autism Foundation. “We are excited to boldly showcase our continued commitment to autism through
the Eagles Autism Foundation and leverage our platform to change the lives of those affected. This new foundation allows us
to unite all our efforts and intensify our impact throughout the year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 59 people under the age of 21 living in the United States
are on the autism spectrum. Autism is a complex neurological and developmental condition that expresses itself differently
in each individual. The spectrum can range from having challenges in the areas of social skills and nonverbal communication
to repetitive interests and behaviors. While it has become one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the country,
it has historically been underfunded, misunderstood, and under-researched.
In partnership with leading institutions specializing in autism research, the Eagles are bringing fresh ways of thinking to the
field. Thanks to the $2.5 million raised in 2018, a total of eight research projects have received grant funding. In February, a
scientific advisory board was formed to independently evaluate and approve each proposal. The projects were assessed by Dr.
Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, the lead scientific advisor, and nine internationally recognized researchers who have demonstrated
a clear and steadfast commitment to autism research. The funding process for the $3.5 million raised in 2019 is currently
underway and will award institutions with grants in early 2020. The Eagles Autism Challenge has received 52 Letters of Intent
from seven Philadelphia-area institutions requesting grant funding, and of that, 29 research proposals are expected to be
submitted by mid-September.