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CSUN clubs and organizations to host Autism Speaks event and encourage the community to participate in events to raise awareness and funds for research

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CSUN sorority Alpha Phi Delta, along with other organizations will be hosting the 11th annual Xi Champs, an event that raises money and awareness for the organization Autism Speaks.

The event will be held on different days, said Dianna Hodge, Alpha Xi Delta member and one of the coordinators of the event.

“In the past, every event has been different and has raised money for a different organization with various types of events raising between $6,000-$10,000,” Hodge said.

On Tuesday, April 13, a fundraiser was held at Claim Jumper to raise money for Autism Speaks.  Claim Jumper gave 15 percent of the proceeds to Autism Speaks, said Hodge.

On Thursday, April 15, a talent competition between all the houses in the Greek system will be held in the Northridge Center from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“Because this is our annual spring event, we not only want to involve the Greek system, but also the CSUN community, as well as those who live in the Northridge area,” Hodge said.

On Saturday, April 17, a carnival will be held for the community, the Greek system and CSUN students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the East Field on Zelzah and Plummer where food, games, prizes and entertainment will be available. Admission will be $2, Hodge said.

On Sunday, April 18, a silent auction will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Grand Salon.

“We will have baskets of various themes and great items to be bid off,” Hodge said. “There will also be raffle prizes, food and entertainment provided as well.”

According to Hodge, prizes for the silent auction include a spa basket with bath gels and relaxation kits, a Jordan Farmar signed jersey and picture, dentist baskets with all your teeth care needs, movie baskets with a wide variety of genres and posters with popcorn, gift cards to many different restaurants and locations, physical fitness passes, and much more.

An Autism Walk will also be held as a part of raising money and awareness for autism on Saturday, April 24.

Ellie Kazemi, director of the BCBA program, a post-masters university certificate program in Behaivor Analysis, said many current clients of behavioral services are individuals with autism.

Kazami said it is important to raise autism awareness.

“Many lives are affected by autism,” Kazemi said. “Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization with the mission to increase public awareness and funds to address the growing national autism public health crisis. Public awareness is crucial for obtaining funds, expanding research, providing social support, and integrating individuals with autism into the community.”

Graduate student, Dennise Williams, 26, a Child and Adolescent Behavior major said she will be participating at the events and the walk to help raise money and awareness for autism.

“Autism is a serious disorder that many people do not recognize,” Williams said. “Many kids suffer from it. It’s a serious issue for them as well as their families and if there is a way to help cure it, then we should do whatever we can to do so.”

Following previous success with the event, Hodge hopes for this one to be the most successful.

“This is a fun way to bring awareness and raise money for a very serious disorder that is impacting so many families,” Hodges said. “People will not only be helping a great cause, but they will also get to enjoy food, prizes, and entertainment.  We plan for this to be one of our biggest Xi Champs yet. We hope that people will want to have fun and take part in it.”

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