The Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA), in partnership with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Corner Pieces, and the Autistic Children's Treatment Network (ACT), will host a special public bridge-viewing ceremony on the St. Ignace Country Club in St. Ignace tomorrow, April 2, in honor of Global Autism Awareness Day.

"Light It Blue Michigan" is an autism-awareness campaign launched by Corner Pieces, a non-profit organization based in Sault Ste. Marie dedicated to improving the well being of children and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Mackinac Bridge will be lit blue at sundown on april 2 to kick-off the month long campaign.

"This is another important milestone involving the Mackinac Bridge and the health of Michigan citizens," said William H. Gnodtke, MBA Board Chair. "By being part of this great program, hopefully we will not only raise awareness about autism, but also help increase support for families coping with this disorder."

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, an outspoken advocate of expanding Michigan's health care coverage for children affected by autism, will be the featyred speaker at the event. "Setting our state's most iconic structure aglow in blue will send a string message about the importance of helping children with autism," said Calley, whose five-year old daughter Reagan is being treated for autism. "I greatly appreciate Light It Blue Michigan's work to highlight this vital health issue." Additional speakers are expected to include Corner Pieces President Ben Duff, ACT President Murray D. Wikol, DTE Energy officials, and others.

ASD is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects a child's ability to communicate and socialize with others, and usually appears within a child's first three years.

In addition to the Mackinac Bridge, other locations participating in "Light It Blue Michigan" include the GM Renaissance Center, DTE Energy offices, the Motor City Casino, Madonna University, and Wayne State University. For more information, visit the campaign's website at www.lightitbluemichigan.com.