Napanee to Light It Up Blue for autism in October

Adam Prudhomme

Shades of blue will shine down on Greater Napanee all October long as the town does its part to show support for Autism Awareness Month.

Members of town council accepted a motion at last Tuesday’s meeting to proclaim October as Autism Awareness month in Greater Napanee as well as to explore ways to include blue bulbs into existing light displays as part of the international Light It Up Blue campaign.

They made the motion following a deputation from Lennox and Addington County Autism Network co-founders Mandy Stapley and Kristy Boyer-Blais.

“I think it would be a great show of support for our community to show support alongside our neighbouring communities,” Stapley said of adding blue lights, noting that communities such as Belleville were doing the same.

Stapley also provided council with an update on their network, which was created in June to provide family members a place to share resources and experiences.

“We created a grassroots networking page on the internet, as well as a closed group for members in our community to share personal experiences and struggles and just to have a safe environment to discuss family orientated things,” said Stapley.

Since the page was created in early July, they now feature 188 followers.

“I think it’s a fantastic cause,” said councillor Terry Richardson, who acting on behalf of Stapley’s request, put forward the motion to make the proclamation and add blue lights. Among the suggested light placements were the twinkling lights on the trees outside of town hall as well as setting the lights that shine on the Napanee River falls to a constant blue.

Blue is often used to represent autism because its associated as a calming colour for those who can become overstimulated.

Though this year was a bit of a last minute request with just a few days before the start of October, mayor Marg Isbester said she’d like to see more down next year when they’d have more time to plan in advance.

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