March 27, 2013 -

Equitable Life of Canada is once again partnering with Autism Speaks™ Canada to bring Walk Now for Autism Speaks™ to Waterloo-Wellington for its second special year.

Already held in more than 80 cities across North America, Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a fun-filled, family-friendly event held annually to raise funds for autism research and family services, and to increase awareness about autism. The three-kilometre walk will be held in Waterloo Park on Sunday, June 2. The fundraising goal for the Waterloo-Wellington Walk is $ $170,000.

"We are extremely excited to have Equitable Life of Canada return for a second year as Presenting Sponsor of our Waterloo-Wellington Walk Now for Autism Speaks," said Frank Viti, President and CEO of Autism Speaks Canada. "The tremendous success of our first annual Waterloo-Wellington Walk would not have been possible without the support of Equitable Life of Canada and its employees. Our Walks bring thousands of participants together for a day that is both fun and meaningful, while generating vital funds for autism research and family services.""Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder, affecting thousands of Canadian families," said Ron Beettam, President and CEO of Equitable Life of Canada. "Equitable Life is proud to partner with Autism Speaks Canada to bring this important fundraising event to Waterloo-Wellington for the second time."

To help raise awareness for autism and build support for the Waterloo-Wellington Walk, Equitable Life is holding a month-long "Light It Up Blue" campaign. Starting on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, Equitable Life will be joining organizations and institutions around the world by illuminating its Head Office in blue light to raise awareness about autism. Equitable Life encourages other organizations and citizens in Waterloo-Wellington to "Light It Up Blue" at their homes and offices.

In addition, Equitable Life has planned several fundraising and awareness raising initiatives for its employees throughout the month, including: "Blue Mondays" casual dress days and a "Dress It Up Blue Contest". Equitable Life's fundraising goal is $30,000.

For more information about Walk Now for Autism Speaks, or to register for or donate to the Waterloo-Wellington Walk, visit:

About Equitable Life of Canada
Since 1920, people have been depending on Equitable Life of Canada for financial protection. As one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in Canada, Equitable Life is dedicated solely to its policyholders. Everything we do is focused on providing them with personalized service, security and wellbeing.

Through advisors across Canada, we offer a wide selection of competitive Individual Life and Health, Savings and Retirement and Group Benefits products to meet a range of financial planning and health needs.

About Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks Canada together with Autism Speaks is the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization.  It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments 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. Fundraising walks for Autism Speaks are held across North America, including seven sites in Canada.  Funds raised through walks and other events support Canadian autism research and community grants to agencies across Canada that work directly with children, youth and adults with autism. To learn more about Autism Speaks Canada, please visit  For more information on the Walk Now for Autism Speaks events, please visit  Information on Autism Speaks U.S can be found at

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders - autism spectrum disorders - caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioural challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children across North America is on the autism spectrum - a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

Media contacts:
Don Bisch
Director, Corporate Communications

Christina Reinhardt
Assistant, Communications
Autism Speaks Canada
1.888.362.6227 ext. 209