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Actresses Krysten Ritter, Sarah Shahi and Beth Riesgraf Host Autism Speaks(R) Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball Honoring The Guess? Foundation

Special Guest Actress Nikki Reed and Musical Performance by Raphael Saadiq

BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Autism Speaks® (http://www.autismspeaks.org/) will hold its annual Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6 p.m. honoring The Guess? Foundation (http://www.guessfoundation.org/) for its dedication to autism. Hosting the event will be television stars Krysten Ritter ("Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"), Sarah Shahi ("Fairly Legal" "Chicago Fire") and Beth Riesgraf ("Leverage"). Headlining the musical performances will be Grammy Award winning singer Raphael Saadiq. Special guest actress Nikki Reed ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2") will speak and perform with her husband Paul McDonald in honor of her brother who has autism. Blue Tie Blue Jean is dedicated to raising money to help fund science and family service initiatives. For tickets Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball (http://events.autismspeaks.org/site/c.asIQI1NHKiK0F/b.7746033/k.BD7C/Home.htm).

"There has been no greater inspiration in my life than that of my son, Will, and my brother, Charles, both affected by autism," said Matthew Asner, Executive Director for Autism Speaks® Southern California. "They epitomize what we fight for at Autism Speaks®. A chance to live, learn and inspire."

"Autism has spunk," said Actor Ed Asner, Matthew's father, "And you know what an Asner feels about spunk!"

"Every 11 minutes a child is diagnosed with autism and the annual cost for families living with autism is an average of $50,000," said Matthew. "We need to assure that research, advocacy and family service initiatives continue to be funded."

ABOUT AUTISM:
Autism now affects 1 in 88 children in the United States, including 1 in 54 boys, and is the nation's fastest-growing serious developmental disorder, more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Five children per hour are now being diagnosed with this lifelong, neurobiological disorder that impairs, often severely, a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. Despite these alarming statistics, autism receives less than 5% of the funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS®:
Autism Speaks® is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. AutismSpeaks.org (http://www.autismspeaks.org/). Autism Speaks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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