Jenny McCarthy and her 5-year-old son Evan flipped the switch to light the world's largest LEGO(R) holiday tree tonight at LEGOLAND(R) California. The ceremony, which also featured Carlsbad Firefighters and Santa Claus, brought special meaning to more than 3,000 California families coping with autism as LEGOLAND California's President and General Manager John Jakobsen presented $10,000 to Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). TACA provides information, resources and support to families throughout California affected by autism, many of which were special guests at tonight's ceremony.
McCarthy's son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2005 and is the focus of her fourth best-selling book, "Louder than Words - A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism." The actress, comedienne and best-selling author spoke to thousands of LEGOLAND guests tonight, sharing her personal experiences in coping with autism.
Before mother and son lit the 30-foot tall LEGO tree, Santa was escorted in by Carlsbad Firefighters on an antique fire engine, with red light swirling and siren blazing. After McCarthy and Evan pulled the magic switch, music chimed, snow fell and fireworks lit up the sky.
Beginning today, announced Jakobsen, LEGOLAND California is showing support to all fire and law enforcement personnel who battled the devastating wildfires that recently ravaged Southern California by offering all active fire and law enforcement with valid ID and up to three immediate family members a complimentary fun-filled day at LEGOLAND. "LEGOLAND California's Heroic Thanks" runs now through December 25. More information about the program is available online at http://www.legoland.com/HeroesWanted
According to TACA, autism currently affects one in 150 children nationwide and in California, twelve are diagnosed each day. Through direct donations and events, the organization is able to offer monthly education and support meetings in eight locations, parent mentoring, the TACA Autism Journey Guide, as well as seminars and conferences.
More than 245,000 forest green DUPLO(R) bricks click together to create the holiday tree that can only be seen at the 128-acre family theme park in Carlsbad. For the fifth year in a row, the LEGO brick tree towers over the entrance to LEGOLAND adorned with more than 240 ornaments and 100 holiday candles, all built in LEGO basic brick.
Source: LEGOLAND California