Phillies principal owner/managing partner John Middleton and his wife, Leigh, have made a $100,000 donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge.
Beginning this morning, The Middleton Matching Gift Challenge will match the first $100,000 in online donations dollar for dollar. So the Middletons will match each one-time donation (up to $1,000) until the $100,000 goal is reached.
"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," Middleton said in a statement.
The Eagles Autism Challenge is a huge deal for Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and the franchise. It has become the team's most notable fundraising effort.
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"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," Lurie said in a statement. "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 is the sixth matching gift this year. In total, it's expected that $760,000 will be matched by the end of the week.
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. The event also features three cycling routs - the Wawa Junior 15-Mile Ride, Wawa Short 30-Mile Ride and the Wawa Classic 50-Mile Ride.
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