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Coney Islanders light Parachute Jump blue for World Autism Awareness Day • Brooklyn Paper

Coney Islanders light Parachute Jump blue for World Autism Awareness Day

Light it up: Coney Islanders gathered on Tuesday night at the Parachute Jump, which was lit up blue for World Autism Awareness Day.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It was lit!

Brooklynites gathered at Coney Island’s Parachute Jump on Tuesday to light the former amusement ride blue for World Autism Awareness Day.

The sixth annual event — hosted on April 2 — encouraged Kings Countians to learn more about autism spectrum disorder and how they can support those living with it, according to one attendee.

“We go every year because we believe that everyone should be aware of autism and not judge people,” said Gravesend resident Randi Garay, who attended the event with her daughter, Skye.

City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island) and the husband-and-wife duo behind the Coney Island Autism Angels co-sponsored the event on the Riegelmann Boardwalk between W. 16th and W. 21st streets, where youngsters gathered to watch the 250-foot-tall structure light up the night to commemorate the United Nations-sanctioned day of awareness.

Coney Islander Veronica Droz started the Autism Angels organization with her husband, Anthony, after her now-18-year-old daughter, Tori, was diagnosed with the disorder. The devoted mom said that the do-good group fulfilled their goal of teaching locals more about the disorder at the Tuesday night event, despite the cold temperatures.

“It was nice — it was very cold,” Droz said. “We succeeded in raising awareness and acceptance for autism.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@schnepsmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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