Light the Candles: Bob's Red Mill Opens Bob's Birthday Club to Autistic Children

Donation to Autism Speaks Secures Membership and Free Goodies

Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
  • Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
    Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
    Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
    Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit blue to honor World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012.
  • Bob's Red Mill Birthday Club Logo
    Bob's Red Mill Birthday Club Logo
    Bob's Red Mill Birthday Club Logo
    Bob's Red Mill Birthday Club Logo

Portland, Oregon – Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, the Milwaukie, Ore.-based leader in whole grain foods, has unwrapped Bob’s Birthday Club, a birthday rewards program for children with autism. By making a minimum donation to Autism Speaks, adults can enlist a child in the club, and in advance of that child’s birthday, the child will receive a Bob’s Birthday Club kit filled with gluten-free cake mix and other Bob’s Red Mill treats.

In offering Bob’s Birthday Club, Bob’s Red Mill is again partnering with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Earlier this month, Bob’s Red Mill also sponsored the lighting of Portland’s Morrison Bridge in honor of Autism Speaks’ “Light It Up Blue” campaign on World Autism Awareness Day. Bob’s Red Mill first began partnering with Autism Speaks back in 2009.

“We are proud to have been able to support Autism Speaks over the years,” said Bob Moore, founder and president of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “The organization has done so much to combat autism, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to help out in whatever small way.”

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a group of complex disorders of brain development that are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communications and repetitive behaviors. According to new numbers recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in the United States is now being diagnosed with disorder.

Many parents of autistic children report that behavior improves when their children eat a diet free of the proteins gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye, and casein, found in dairy. Bob’s Red Mill currently offers more than 70 gluten free and casein free flours, cereals, baking mixes and grains, and the company has long provided gluten free information, resources and recipes through its website and blog.

“As a leader for the past 30 years in providing safe and delicious gluten free and casein free products, we saw Bob’s Birthday Club as a way to enhance the birthday celebrations of autistic children who are on gluten free diets,” said Dennis Gilliam, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Bob’s Red Mill. “With the effort, we also hope to continue to help raise awareness of the disorder while supporting the tremendous efforts of Autism Speaks.”

Here’s how Bob’s Birthday Club works:

  • Anyone interested in signing up a child for Bob’s Birthday Club should visit www.autismspeaks.org/bobsbirthdayclub.
  • With a donation of $30 or more made through the website, an adult can register an autistic child for the club.
  • Then, as that child’s birthday nears, he/she will receive a special Bob’s Birthday Club kit, which includes:
    • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix
    • A recipe card puzzle
    • A small cooking apron
    • A measuring cup

The kits are limited to the first 1,000 people who make donations.

“We are so thrilled to have such a valued partner in Bob’s Red Mill,” said Pat Kemp, executive vice president of marketing, corporate relations and development at Autism Speaks. “Not only will Bob’s Birthday Club help to fund our mission, but it will also help to bring birthday joy to children across the country.”

More information about Bob’s Birthday Club can be found at www.autismspeaks.org/bobsbirthdayclub

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