OAK BROOK, Ill., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TOMY, a leading global designer, producer and marketer of toys and collectible products sold to preschoolers, youths and adults, proudly announces a large scale donation in conjunction with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. TOMY will donate up to five hundred Chuggington Wooden Railway playtables and train sets, with a total value of up to $250,000, to preschools who serve children with autism. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism affects one in 88 children and one in 54 boys. TOMY's donation is designed to help preschools serving children with autism provide wholesome and engaging play opportunities within educational environments.
"Train play is perennially popular with preschoolers, especially boys, engaging them with action-oriented vehicle play, construction elements, imaginative role play and more. Through the years we have had customers who have children with autism tell us how much they love and play with our trains, and we wanted to provide that opportunity to as many preschoolers across the country as we could," states Greg Kilrea, president of TOMY International. "We are thrilled to be working with Autism Speaks through their network of family services, which will connect this donation with hundreds of preschools serving children with autism and offer to provide them with Chuggington playtables and train sets to be incorporated into their facilities."
Chuggington's popularity with kids ages 3-6 combined with the durable, wooden construction of TOMY's award-winning toy train brand make it an ideal solution to share with preschools who are providing vital services to communities nationwide. "The playtables are sturdy and sized perfectly for preschoolers. The Chuggington Wooden Railway sets and engines provide endless opportunities for kids to play or for educators and therapists to incorporate into daily lessons and treatment plans," adds Kilrea.
"This donation program is one of the many ways that Autism Speaks and our partners help communities by providing a fun activity for children," said Lisa Goring, vice president of Family Services at Autism Speaks. "We are grateful to TOMY for its support and generosity to the preschools that will receive playtables."
TOMY has initiated the program in conjunction with back to school 2012 and plans to have all the playtables placed into individual preschools by spring 2013.
About TOMY International
TOMY International (www.tomy.com) is a leading global designer, producer and marketer of a broad range of innovative, high-quality toys sold to preschoolers, youths and adults under the TOMY®, Ertl®, Johnny Lightning® and Tomica® brands as well as products for mothers, infants and toddlers marketed under its The First Years®, Lamaze, JJ Cole® Collections and Boon® brands. TOMY International also markets its products under popular and classic licensed properties such as Chuggington, Dinosaur Train, John Deere, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, Princesses, Cars, Fairies and Toy Story, and other well-known properties. TOMY International's mission is to inspire and fulfill the dreams of children and parents worldwide. TOMY International reaches its target consumers through multiple channels of distribution supporting more than 25,000 retail outlets throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. TOMY International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based TOMY Company, Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Code No. 7867). © TOMY
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
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. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $180 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
SOURCE TOMY International