Phillies' Middleton making $100K donation to Eagles Autism Challenge

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Phillies managing partner John Middleton and his wife Leigh are making a $100,000 donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge.

The Eagles Autism Challenge is a one-day bike ride and 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 18 that begins and ends at Lincoln Financial Field.

Participants cross the finish line at the 50-yard line where an on-field celebration awaits.

There is also a virtual participant option for those who want to fundraise but are unable to ride, run or walk on event day.

One-hundred-percent of the Middletons' donations will be offered to new and existing Eagles Autism Challenge participants through the Middleton Matching Gift Challenge.

The first $100,000 in online donations will be matched, dollar for dollar.

"On behalf of my family and the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to graciously thank John and Leigh for their extreme generosity and commitment, not just to the Eagles Autism Challenge but to the autism community," said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. "A contribution like this says a lot about someone's character, thoughtfulness and compassion for others. John and Leigh are admired humanitarians who, together, have made a deep and profound philanthropic impact in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Our hope is that the Middleton's generosity will inspire leadership support and further position our city as a base for autism research."

The Middleton Matching Gift Challenge applies to all online donations beginning on Wednesday, April 24 at 9 a.m.

"The Eagles are a world-class organization both on and off the field and we are proud to be part of their effort to drive autism research and improve the lives of millions of people around the world," John Middleton said.

"John and I are honored to support the Eagles Autism Challenge and our friends, the Lurie's, with their incredible movement to advance scientific breakthroughs and establish Philadelphia as the center for autism research," said Leigh Middleton.

The Middleton Matching Gift Challenge is the sixth Eagles Autism Challenge matching gift of the year, with an expected grand total of $760,000 to be matched by the end of the week.

For more information or to register, visit www.eaglesautismchallenge.org.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in 59 people under the age of 21 living in the United States are on the autism spectrum.
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