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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 
The Philadelphia Eagles have announced the inaugural Eagles Autism Challenge with a kick-off party at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles Autism Challenge is the team’s signature cycling and 5K run/walk fundraising event. It is dedicated to supporting innovative autism research and programs.

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The kick-off party will happen Friday, May 18 with the first ever Eagles Autism Challenge following on May 19.

The charity event will host 3,000 participants who will take part in the Wawa Junior 15-Mile Ride, Wawa Shorti 30-Mile Ride and the Wawa Classic 50-Mile Ride.

There will also be a family-friendly Five Below 5K Run/Walk.

All routes begin and end at Lincoln Financial Field, with the finish line taking place on the field’s 50-yard line. The awards ceremony, family-friendly field activities and a performance by Alex Aiono will take place in the afternoon.

The Eagles hope that by bringing together the region’s top autism research organizations, new scientific breakthroughs will arise and establish Philadelphia as the hub for autism research and care.

“Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in our country, yet we are still at a point where the cause is not fully understood,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised by participants will go to groundbreaking work being conducted at three nationally recognized institutions: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

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“The Eagles Autism Challenge is bringing thought leaders in the field of autism together to collaborate on groundbreaking research, while creating a shift from awareness to action in our communities. Saturday will be a culmination of everyone’s support, commitment and hard work as we collectively work to raise much-needed funds for innovative research and programs that will transform the lives of those affected by autism,” added Lurie.

The entire Eagles organization, including players and coaches, will take part in the event.

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