One of the highlights of the Philadelphia Eagles offseason every calendar year has nothing to do with football. It’s a charity event, one birthed by Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie. It exists to create awareness and raise the financial resources necessary to combat one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders that our great country faces. That alone is a reason to smile, isn’t it?
This Eagles Autism Challenge began in 2018 and has grown by leaps and bounds since that time. Studies estimate that one of every 36 U.S. citizens who are 21 years old or younger are on this spectrum. Many of us have family members who have been diagnosed, Lurie’s family included, so he took action. The results have been extraordinary.
We misspoke earlier. The Eagles Autism Challenge is more than an event. It’s woven into the franchise’s culture. Seeing its effects forces a smile across the face, and here’s the best part. It’s only going to keep growing.
Here’s its mission. It can be found on the official website.
"The Eagles Autism Challenge is dedicated to raising funds for innovative research and care programs. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism as well as future generations. Our event aims to inspire and engage the community, so together, we can provide much-needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism."
Let’s check out some of this year’s highlights.
Here are a few photos of the Eagles Autism Challenge’s Friday Night Kickoff Party and the bike ride/5k run/walk that came on Saturday.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Truer words have never been spoken.
There was only one hiccup during the Eagles Autism Challenge. A.J. Brown shared a video of a close call.
Here’s one of those good news/bad news scenarios. The bad news is, as much as we’d love to tell you that everything went on without a hitch, there was one scary moment of what was otherwise a great day. Star wide receiver A.J. Brown posted a video on his Instagram account of what turned out to be a close call. He was almost involved in an accident.
Thankfully, A.J. seems to be okay. He gave everyone an update on Twitter a little later.
That’s what’s most important, but fear not. If you have any plans of participating in an Eagles Autism Challenge in the future, you can’t find a safer way to spend your time.
Though A.J.’s close call was unfortunate. It’s a very rare occurrence in what has been a fantastic way to enjoy friends and family while hanging out with a few of Philly’s current stars and some of the Birds’ alum. The best part of the day is it’s again fueled by selflessness and charity.
This year $6.2 million was raised. That’s a record for the Eagles Autism Challenge, one that brings the fundraiser’s total tally to $22 million since its birth in 2018. That gives it the stamps of approval in our book.
We commend Jeffrey Lurie for his continued efforts to be a vessel of change as we continue the battle against autism. Writing stories like these are always a pleasure.