THE DO-GOODERS: Tommy and Dee Hilfiger
THE CAUSE: Autism Speaks
THE MISSION: Autism Speaks is America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism while raising awareness about the disorder.
Lauren: How did you guys originally get involved with Autism Speaks?
Tommy & Dee: Laura Slatkin of NEST Fragrances introduced us to Autism Speaks. Laura’s son is autistic, and is on the severe end of the platform, and she became heavily involved with raising awareness and co-founded New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) because of that.
Lauren: What is it about this particular organization that speaks to you, personally?
Tommy & Dee: We both have children that are on the autism spectrum and many of our friends have children that are affected as well. Being a high-profile couple, we wanted to stand up and make some noise regarding this epidemic and help raise awareness for a cause that personally affects us both.
Lauren: Can you describe the work that you do with them?
Dee: Tommy and I both help with fundraising and raising as much awareness as we can for this cause.
Tommy: I’ve also done a PSA for Autism Speaks, which is currently running on both TV and radio to help raise awareness.
Lauren: What’s been your most memorable experience with Autism Speaks?
Tommy: My most memorable experience thus far was working with them to create the PSA. The PSA has a very important message and very special meaning to me.
Dee: Last December, Autism Speaks and NYCA hosted “A Funny Affair for Autism” at The Plaza, and students from the NYCA Charter School performed Christmas carols. It was such a beautiful performance, so very touching.
Lauren: How has your involvement with Autism Speaks inspired you, personally or professionally?
Tommy: My involvement has taught me so much about autism and how important it is to spread the word. One in 88 American children are on the autism spectrum; this is something that affects many families, including mine.
Dee: I’m very inspired by Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright, both personally and professionally. She is an incredible force, so smart and she works tirelessly to raise awareness for this very important cause.
Lauren: How can others get involved?
Tommy & Dee: Others can get involved by checking out the Autism Speaks website.
Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.