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    TRENTON, NJ – An estimated 250 children and adults gathered on the steps of the State House today to take part in a worldwide effort to raise awareness of Autism and its spectrum of disorders by blowing bubbles. The event was coordinated by the Department of Human Services (DHS) with representatives from several state agencies, members of disability advocacy groups and children who were participating in National Bring Your Child to Work Day. 

Spearheaded by Faces4Autism, a non-profit advocacy and support group based in southern New Jersey, the awareness campaign encourages schools, businesses and people nationally and internationally, to assemble and blow bubbles at the exact same time – 1:15 p.m. to 1:16 p.m. EST in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records. To break the record, more than 35,000 needed to participate in the one-minute event.

 “Blowing bubbles to raise awareness is a truly inspired idea,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Watching hundreds of people come together in recognition of Autism was incredibly moving. There was an energy and enthusiasm that made it a really special event.”

“We recently learned that one in 88 children nationwide has autism, so the support for awareness shown today is very much appreciated,” the Commissioner added. “It was a stroke of luck that Bring Your Child to Work Day coincided because it allowed us to engage the children in an important and memorable activity.”

About 200 children who came to work with their parents in the Offices of the Governor, Secretary of State, Assembly and Senate, the Departments of Community Affairs, Education, Homeland Security and Preparedness, Human Services, Labor and Workforce Development, Treasury, the Board of Public Utilities and School Development Authority participated. Bubbles for the occasion were donated by staff among the Departments.

According to Faces4Autism’s founder, Isabelle Marks Mosca, the organization expected to have enough participants to break the world record by about 2,200, with over 37,000 people in 13 states and five countries registered for the event.

Governor Chris Christie’s fiscal year 2013 budget emphasizes the Administration’s strong commitment to the many programs, services and supports offered by the State to individuals with autism and their families that make New Jersey one of the best systems in the nation for identifying, diagnosing and caring for individuals with autism.

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