Area businesses, homes, offices and schools – even roller coasters – were feeling a little blue Saturday, lighting up their exteriors – and in some cases interiors – with blue hazy lights as part of the Autism Speaks “Light It Up Blue” campaign. April is Autism Awareness Month.
The York County locations joined more than 18,600 landmarks, businesses, communities and homes in 142 countries to go blue.
At The White Horse restaurant in Rock Hill, musicians Anna LaPrad and Tim Baumgartner entertained a crowd as luminarias and blue balloons were near tables of patrons wearing blue shirts.
“There has been a lot of love,” said owner Marsha Pursley.
Throughout the month, the restaurant is accepting donations for Chrysalis Autism Center in Rock Hill. At Saturday’s event, where food servers and bartenders wore “Light It Up Blue” T-shirts, Pursley raffled a cooler and a $100 gift card to the restaurant.
At Buffalo Wild Wings, the “Awesome A’s” walk team raised $400 that will be donated to Autism Speaks. The group held a ceremony and balloon release at City Hall.
Based on research through the Centers for Disease Control, the autism prevalence rate remains at 1 in 68, according to the South Carolina Autism Society.
Chrysalis will hold the “Autism Awareness Celebration” at Rock Hill’s District Three Stadium on April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. with a balloon release and activities for children, including face painting, music, games and food. The event is free.