Detroit Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay is fighting autism with a Detroit-star-filled karaoke sing out and a raffle that will net the winner a custom motorcycle signed by hockey greats and Detroit celebrities.
Known around the NHL as “Terrible Ted” for his toughness and rough style of play back in the 1940s and 1950s, he’s not backing down from this very personal cause. To date, the Ted Lindsay Foundation has unselfishly raised more than $2 million — all of it dedicated for research projects aimed at identifying new treatments for and the causes of autism. Well into his retirement years but always keeping busy and regularly exercising to stay in good health, Ted took on this cause at 76-years-old after finding out the son of a close friend had autism. Ted tells everyone until then he never heard about autism and didn’t know how debilitating it is to children.
Autism drastically impairs normal development in children and devastates their families. While there is no medical detection or known cure for autism, thousands of children have shown significant improvement resulting from early diagnosis and use of effective interventions. The cause of autism remains unclear but current studies show genetics and environment both play a role in its growth.
In 1988, one in every 2,500 children had autism. In 2012, the Center for Disease Control estimated one in 88 American children had autism. Today it is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. costing the nation $137 billion annually. Health statistics identify the State of Michigan having the 4th highest number of autistic children. In the 2009-2010 school year one out of every 118 Michigan public school 8-year-olds was diagnosed with autism.
This summer Ted Lindsay will celebrate his 88th birthday and he’s working harder than ever to fight what he calls an epidemic that’s hurting our kids and grandkids. Working with the FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts, the Ted Lindsay Foundation is co-hosting a celebrity benefit called Sing Out 4 Kids. This fun-filled evening will be held March 1 at the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak with Mickey Redmond and Karen Newman as emcees. Attendees can cheer on local celebrities performing their favorite karaoke songs.
As you might expect from an event identified with an NHL Legend, the evening festivities will offer plenty of sports memorabilia and include a whole lot of sports celebrities. Hockeytown fans might even bump into some Red Wing alumni or possibly some members of today’s Red Wing organization.
Festivities start at 6:30 PM. Your contribution covers dinner, valet parking and entertainment. There is also an opportunity for every guest to participate in the karaoke competition. There will be silent and live auctions and one of the grand prizes is tickets to the finals of this season’s American Idol.
Another unique fundraising opportunity at the event is the Foundation’s “Autism Chopper Raffle” thanks in large part to Joel Walendowski, the owner of Angels N Iron, a custom metal fabrication shop in Marine City. Joel`s family has been affected by autism and he wanted to do something unique to help increase awareness of autism. His custom chopper has Ted’s No. 7 on the oil tank and the Red Wing logo end caps on the handgrips. The ignition bracket is shaped like three puzzle pieces symbolizing the logo for autism.
The chopper has been signed by NHL and Red Wing greats Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Nick Lidstrom. Detroit businessman and racing icon Roger Penske has also signed the chopper along with many other Detroit celebrities. There are only 1200 raffle tickets available at $50 each so buy them soon. The Autism Chopper will be given away at a Foundation-hosted event on June 3, 2013.
All of the monies raised by the Ted Lindsay Foundation go directly to research to find the cause of autism and for treatment. The Foundation is supported by an all-volunteer organization who generously gives their time and energy to help Ted with this very personal fight. For more information go to the Ted Lindsay Foundation.