Blue hue signals autism

WOLLONGONG Head Lighthouse was bathed in blue in 2013 to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day but this year it's Novotel Wollongong Northbeach's turn.

The hotel will be lit up blue this week in support of the awareness day on April 2 and Aspect South Coast School. The Novotel will also host the 2014 Aspect gala dinner on April 4, supported by City Motors Group. Minister for Disability Services and the Illawarra John Ajaka will attend.

The dinner caps off a week of fund-raising activities for the non-profit Aspect School, which runs Illawarra classes for 120 children with autism, including at its Corrimal school, and satellite classes at Bellambi and Barrack Heights public schools, Para Meadows School, and Ss Peter and Paul School, Kiama.

Corrimal will host a mufti day on April 2 and sell blue cakes, while fund-raising activities are taking place at Illawarra Sports High School, as well as Barrack Heights and Bellambi to buy autism books for their libraries.

Aspect South Coast School principal Bruce Rowles said they needed to raise $100,000 to replace the rusting playground at Corrimal and install some of the old play equipment at Barrack Heights.

"Parts of the playground were put on in later years so we're going to take the good stuff out to Barrack Heights," Mr Rowles said.

"We're on a sloping block and every time it rains or the wind blows all the bark gets blown out of the playground, so that's another reason we need to change it."

Savvy Fitness will present the school with a cheque for more than $30,000 on April 2 from their Summer Survivor Challenge.

Mr Rowles said with that donation, the dinner and a NSW Sport and Recreation grant they were getting close to the $100,000 figure and he hoped work could start by June.

Tickets for the fund-raising dinner cost $120. For tickets, phone 4285 2393 or go to www.autismspectrum.org

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