Parent Advocates Tim Bak And Erin Lopes to Receive The Autism Science Foundation’s 2016 Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award

February 22, 2016

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Scoring Goals for Autism Co-Founders Raised More Than $50K for Autism Research in 2015 Alone

NEW YORK, NY (February 22, 2016) – The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research, today announced that autism advocates Tim Bak and Erin Lopes, co-founders of Scoring Goals for Autism and dedicated parents of 16-year-old son Tommy who is diagnosed with autism and 14-year old Evee, will receive this year’s Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award, which recognizes excellence in autism advocacy. The award will be presented at the third annual “Day of Learning,” ASF’s science conference for the autism community, on Wednesday, April 14 in New York.

The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award is presented annually to a parent advocate whose energy, tenacity, and commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism best emulates Caryn’s. Caryn was a loving and dedicated mom, and a tireless advocate who worked with the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation to raise money, advance autism research and improve the lives of children around the country.

“We are pleased to present the Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award to this inspiring couple who have dedicated their lives to advocating for the needs of people autism and for autism research,” says Alison Singer, president and co-founder of Autism Science Foundation. “While raising money for evidence-based autism research, Tim and Erin’s annual event, Scoring Goals for Autism, enhances the lives of children with special needs who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to play soccer.”

“We are so very honored to receive the Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award from the Autism Science Foundation,” says Ms. Lopes. “Caryn’s pioneering advocacy work and her commitment to the autism community have been a great example for us to follow. This award in her honor means a great deal to us and to everyone at Scoring Goals for Autism.”

Scoring Goals for Autism is an annual soccer tournament and fundraiser that benefits autism research through the Autism Science Foundation. This one-of-a-kind indoor soccer tournament, which will be held this year on April 29 and 30 at YSC Sports in Wayne, PA, offers both competitive team play for adult players, as well a TOPSoccer skills and drills clinic for children and adolescents with special needs, including autism.

“We started Scoring Goals for Autism to create an event where everyone could play soccer and raise funds for evidence-based research through the Autism Science Foundation,” said Mr. Bak. “We are grateful to the many friends, family, and members of the large soccer community in our area, who have helped Scoring Goals for Autism grow since its founding in 2011. We are honored to receive this award and do so on behalf of all involved in Scoring Goals for Autism.”

The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award will be presented at the Autism Science Foundation’s “Day of Learning” event, which will feature TED-style talks by the nation’s top autism scientists, clinicians and service providers who will discuss the latest developments in autism research, treatment and services to an audience including parents, students, individuals with autism, and other autism community stakeholders.

Tickets for the “Day of Learning,” which includes lunch, are available online. Proceeds from the conference will benefit the Foundation’s pre- and post- doctoral autism fellowship programs, which supports early career research conducted by the nation’s most promising young autism scientists.

About the Autism Science Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org.