Eagles Autism Challenge dates announced; $2.5 million raised in first year

- The Philadelphia Eagles Autism Challenge raised $2.5 million dollars in their first year. Now, they’re gearing up for year two and announcing the date of next year’s event.

Back in May, supporters didn’t let the rain keep them home when it was time for the big race.

The biggest fundraiser for the cause last year was FOX 29’s own Howard Eskin, who raised more than $126,000. The Eagles repaid him with a custom bike covered in his catchphrases.

Ryan Hammond, the executive director of the Eagles Autism Challenge, stopped by Good Day Philadelphia Monday to talk about the team’s continued efforts.

Ryan and Howard were joined on the show by our friend Ben Hartranft. Ben, like the brother of Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie, has Autism.

Over the summer, Ben was invited to carry in the Lombardi Trophy at the team’s Super Bowl Ring Ceremony as a thank you for the $7,000 he raised for the Eagles Autism Challenge.

Ryan says the creation of the Eagles Autism Challenge had a lot to do with Jeffrey Lurie and his own personal connection to the cause.

“He really felt like it was time to leverage our platform in the NFL, as the Philadelphia Eagles, to have him be a voice for others. To be a voice for other families as we continue to see the prevalence of Autism increased to now 1 in 59 being diagnosed,” Hammond explained.

The second edition of the Eagles Autism Challenge will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019. All of the day’s events will start and end on the 50-yard line at Lincoln Financial Field!  

Participants will be able to compete in a number of events including various bike races, runs, and walks. Families will also have an opportunity to participate in a sensory walk.   

For more information, you can visit the Eagles' Website. Watch the video above for more. 

To donate to Ben's fundraiser this year, click here. 

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