HARRISON, N.J. (May 1, 2019) – The New York Red Bulls have announced the creation of the de Grandpré Family Grant for Autism Programs in honor of their ongoing efforts in spreading awareness for autism. The annual grant will be given each year in April (Autism Awareness Month) to an organization whose work impacts families of loved ones on the autism spectrum.
The inaugural recipient of the de Grandpré Family Grant for Autism Programs will be Kinderdance, a program in Staten Island, NY that runs dance classes for children with autism.
Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpré and wife Kim are the parents of 11-year-old daughter Julia de Grandpré, who has served as an inspiration for the club which celebrated the 5th annual Autism Awareness Night on Saturday, April 27 at Red Bull Arena.
"The de Grandpré family's unrelenting commitment to Autism Awareness has not only impacted our organization, but the entire community throughout the years," said Christina Giunta Quarino, Sr. Director, Field Marketing & Community Relations, New York Red Bulls. "Marc, Kim, Tyler (brother) and Julia de Grandpré continue to serve as passionate and vocal advocates in helping families of loved ones on the autism spectrum. We are extremely proud that this annual grant will live in the de Grandpré family name and continue to make a difference for many years to come."
As a result of the efforts by Marc de Grandpré, the Red Bulls became the first club in Major League Soccer to open a permanent Sensory Room inside Red Bull Arena. The room is available for all families impacted by autism for no additional charge during all home matches. The New York Red Bulls teamed up with the Family Services team from Autism Speaks to design the room, which provides space for families to enjoy Red Bulls games while sitting inside, away from the bulk of the noise and energy of the arena. The room features dimmed lighting and lightly-colored walls to offer a soothing effect, along with visual aids, fidget toys and other activities.
Over the last five years, the Red Bulls have welcomed families impacted by autism to Red Bull Arena and have donated a portion of every ticket purchased to Autism Speaks, dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
IN FOCUS: Autism Awareness at Red Bull Arena by New York Red Bulls on Exposure