Travel industry conference raises over $75,000 for Autism Speaks

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At the American Marketing Group, Inc. (AMG) global conference in Boca Raton, Florida, last week, travel agents, suppliers and AMG staff gathered early on Thursday morning to support Autism Speaks.

For the second year, the group participated in an Autism Walk in an effort to spread awareness for autism and raise funds for the organization.

A silent auction was also held during the conference’s gala closing dinner last Saturday evening, where dozens of prizes were provided by preferred suppliers, and all donations went directly to Autism Speaks.

This year, the group raised more than $75,000 through the Walk and the silent auction combined. “We are overwhelmed by the continued support of American Marketing Group and its partners in the travel industry and couldn’t be more grateful,” said Christie Godowski, Autism Speaks’ Senior Regional Director. “The funds raised during the conference will fuel Autism Speaks’ mission and help to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.”

“Autism Speaks is a cause that’s very near and dear to our hearts,” said Kathryn Burney-Mazza, President of NEST and Executive Vice President of Sales and Service for TRAVELSAVERS. “And we are so moved by the overwhelming response from our preferred suppliers, agents and staff. Their support perfectly complements our efforts as a sponsor of the Long Island Chapter of Autism Speaks. Over the years, we have collectively raised about $500,000 ─ and we are so grateful to each and every individual who walked with us, sponsored someone, or donated.”

About Autism: Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum.

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