Detroit Pistons Host Autism Awareness Night at The Palace Tonight -- March 29

March 29, 2013

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. –The Detroit Pistons are hosting its fourth annual Autism Awareness Night tonight as part of the NBA’s partnership with Autism Speaks. Beginning tonight through April 2, the league, teams and players will support April as National Autism Awareness Month by activating in-arena, hosting Autism Awareness Night.

Before tonight’s Detroit Pistons game against the Toronto Raptors, children with autism will meet Pistons players and participate in a “Court of Dreams” basketball clinic led by Pistons Academy Coach Aaron Smith. In addition, “88 Stars of Autism” – local students who mentor children with autism and representing one in every 88 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) – will be honored pregame, on-court.

“The Pistons are proud to continue this partnership with Autism Speaks in order to raise funds and awareness for autism, which affects so many families in Michigan,” said Dennis Mannion, Palace Sports & Entertainment, CEO and president. "We’re happy to have them join us tonight to acknowledge their work and their tremendous impact on those with autism in need of resources and support statewide."

Tonight, proceeds from Pistons 50/50 Payday will benefit Autism Speaks; NBA coaching staff will wear Autism Speaks lapel pins; and children affected by autism and the 88 Stars of Autism will wear Autism Awareness shirts, presented by Humana. There will also be a special “Game Changers” Palacevision feature, highlighting their 6th annual Michigan Walk Now for Autism Speaks, which raised over $180,000 at The Palace this past September.

“The Pistons Autism Awareness Game is a great event each year that not only raises awareness, but is also a perfect kickoff for April Autism Awareness Month,” said Tom Riopelle, Autism Speaks Michigan director. “We are especially honored this year to have Lt. Gov. Brian Calley join us as we honor, not only those on the spectrum, but our 88 Stars of Autism from around the region who have taken a stand in support of those affected by ASD.”

Tickets for “Autism Awareness Night” are available at The Palace Ticket Store at 248.377.0100, online at Pistons.com and at all Ticketmaster Outlets, or by calling 800.745.3000.

This year’s Autism Walk will be held at Meadowbrook on Sept 21. Learn more at: www.WalkNowForAutismSpeaks.org.

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About The Come Together Foundation: Re-launched in August 2012, The Come Together Foundation is a designated 501(c)(3) public charity. It was originally founded in 1989 as the Pistons-Palace Foundation, a private foundation. The mission aims to utilize the foundation as an effective tool to support overall Come Together vision and mission by strategically collaborating with community organizations to raise awareness and provide financial support in areas of volunteerism, youth leadership and those identified as NBA Cares sponsored programs.

About Autism Speaks: Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. To learn more, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.