December 7, 2005

Autism Speaks in Apprentice Finale

Autism Speaks, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Both Winners in Apprentice Finale

Contestants to Raise Awareness and Funds to Support Charities

(New York, New York – December 6, 2005) Autism Speaks and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation today announced that they will participate in the final two episodes of the hit NBC-TV show The Apprentice. In the final task, to be assigned by Donald Trump on Thursday’s program and concluding with the season finale December 15, one set of contestants will be assigned to produce an event to benefit Autism Speaks and the other an event to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorder and its effect on individuals and families, and is committed to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for the causes, treatments, prevention and cure. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the worldwide leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS and other serious and life-threatening illnesses affecting children. Mark Burnett Productions selects the charities that participate in The Apprentice, and Mr. Trump makes all decisions about contestants.

“Both Donald Trump and I strongly believe that investing in charitable causes is just good business,” said Mark Burnett, executive producer of The Apprentice, and board member of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

“Building awareness of this devastating and prevalent disorder is among our top priorities,” said Alison Singer, Senior Vice President of Autism Speaks. “We hope the large audience that tunes in to The Apprentice will learn a good deal about autism and the terrible toll it takes on families”.

"The Foundation is very appreciative of the support we receive from both Mr. Trump and Mr. Burnett, as they share our concern about doing all we can to help children with HIV/AIDS all over the world," said Pam Barnes, COO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. “Philanthropy has been given an important role on The Apprentice, and for that we are all winners.”

The Apprentice airs on NBC-TV on Thursdays from 9 PM ET/PT.


Autism Speaks is committed to aggressively funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism. It is devoted to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families and society, and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of the disorder. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit its web site at

Today, one in 166 individuals is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines.


The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the worldwide leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS and other serious and life-threatening illnesses affecting children. The Foundation’s innovative research programs, collaborative training initiatives, advocacy efforts, and rapidly expanding international programs are bringing dramatic changes to the lives of children worldwide. To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at

AIDS is the result of damage to the immune system after infection with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). AIDS involves the diminished function of the immune system as critical immune cells are infected and destroyed. The immune system is no longer able to guard against illness, making the person vulnerable to other infections and cancers. Each day 1,900 children around the world become newly infected with HIV.


Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is one of the world’s leading television production companies. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Eco-Challenge, Survivor, The Apprentice, The Contender, Rock Star: INXS, MARTHA and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. MBP also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and has garnered a total of 33 Emmy nominations since 2001. Mark Burnett was listed as the #1 Most Valuable Player by TV Guide and also in Time’s Top 100 most influential people in the world today.

Press Contacts:

Autism Speaks:
Adam Pockriss, (212) 843-8286,

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Darin Dusan, (310) 314-1459,

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