RENTON, Wash. –The Seattle Seahawks and Ben's Fund, founded by John and Traci Schneider in 2012, announce efforts to support Autism Awareness Month.
New in 2018, Ben's Fund will begin offering grants to 19-23 year olds to help with the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. These funds will help support education, job training, life skills, and social skills. Applications for these grants will be available at Seahawks.com/BensFund beginning on April 2.
"We couldn't be more excited to expand Ben's Fund to support young adults with autism," said Traci Schneider. "Leaving the school setting brings huge transitions for people with autism. Along with providing grants, we are working to establish a resource list with service and support options for young adults with autism to help people know where to go for help. This year, we are highlighting three organizations in our community that are currently providing these services. Those are Delphi Young Adults, Yellow Wood Institute and the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center."
In partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington, Ben's Fund provides grants to families across Washington State to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and numerous other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum. Through the foundation's annual Prime Time celebrity waiter event, community support and additional donations, the efforts have raised more than $2.9 million and provided over 1,400 grants to families in the state of Washington.
Throughout the month of April, the Seahawks will donate 10% of sales for every regular priced hat and knit cap sold at Seahawks retail stores to Ben's Fund, in support of Autism Awareness Month. The four retail stores are located at CenturyLink Field, downtown Seattle, Renton Landing and Alderwood Mall. Fans will also be able to make an in-store donation at checkout.
The team also launched an online charity auction that offers Seahawks memorabilia with 100% of proceeds designated for Ben's Fund. The online charity auction will run from Tuesday, April 3 to Thursday, April 12, at Seahawks.com/BensFund. The items include the following:
- Kam Chancellor autographed replica helmet
- Tyler Lockett autographed replica home jersey
- K.J. Wright autographed football
Throughout the first week of April, the arch lights on the roof of CenturyLink Field will be blue as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign to support autism awareness.
The Seahawks continue to work with Autism Friendly Locations to provide toolkits to make CenturyLink Field and gameday activities more user-friendly for fans on the spectrum. The toolkits include noise cancelling headphones, earplugs, sensory toys, detailed schedule and identifier badge. Fans can pick-up the toolkit at Guestlink located in the Field Plaza just south of The Pro Shop on the Field Level. The NFL has adopted this program the past two seasons at the Pro Bowl.
Fans are encouraged to bring awareness and support to @FEATofWA by tagging photos of @CenturyLink_Fld blue arches with #LIUB (Light It Up Blue) and #BensFund.
For more information or to make a donation, visit Seahawks.com/BensFund.
About Ben's Fund
Named after John and Traci Schneider's oldest son who was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, Ben's Fund provides grants to families across Washington State to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and numerous other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum. For more information, visit Seahawks.com/BensFund.
About Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington
FEAT of Washington is a non-profit organization that strives to reach families with a child or children on the autism spectrum, providing support, guidance and resources for families in the community. For the past 15 years, FEAT has been developing, creating and inspiring autism programming for Washington's children solely to achieve one purpose - to help those children reach their full potential. Visit featwa.org to learn more.
Delphi Young Adults
Yellow Wood Institute
Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center