STRATHAM, N.H., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Premium Swiss chocolatier Lindt USA today launches the fifth year of its partnership with Autism Speaks in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the cause. With a commitment to donate more than $115,000 to Autism Speaks during the 2013 Easter season, Lindt is continuing its support of the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Today, to coincide with the arrival of the 2013 Lindt Easter collection at retailers nationwide, Lindt is kicking off a 10 cent donation for every purchase of its iconic Lindt GOLD BUNNY, a Pinterest campaign, and activities in Lindt Chocolate Shops. To generate further awareness and donations, Lindt will again host the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction.
Lindt GOLD BUNNY, the #1 selling chocolate bunny in the United States*, is the only bunny that gives back. Starting today and continuing through Easter, Lindt will donate 10 cents to Autism Speaks for every Lindt GOLD BUNNY purchased in the United States, up to $100,000. Lindt GOLD BUNNY, the centerpiece of Easter celebrations, is available in five sizes and three chocolate varieties: milk, dark and white chocolate.
"Through our partnership with Autism Speaks, Lindt will have raised more than $600,000 for the organization by the end of 2013 with the help of our iconic Lindt GOLD BUNNY and the participation of our loyal customers," said Thomas Linemayr, chief executive officer and president of Lindt USA. "We are proud to continue our partnership with Autism Speaks for a fifth year, helping to generate funds and awareness for a cause that touches so many."
Starting March 11, Lindt will host a Pin 2 Win Lindt GOLD BUNNY Challenge, asking Pinterest users to create boards focused on Easter traditions, such as egg hunts and basket building, featuring at least one pin with Lindt GOLD BUNNY. Once 1,000 or more Pinterest users have participated in the challenge, which runs through March 27, Lindt will donate an additional $10,000 to Autism Speaks. All participants will be eligible to win one of ten gift baskets with the essentials for creating a memorable Easter – $100 of Lindt Easter products and a Michael's gift card.To raise additional funds, Lindt will donate $1 to the organization for every free Lindt Easter e-card sent from LindtGOLDBUNNY.com to friends and loved ones, up to $5,000. Lindt will also be hosting special events leading up to Easter and benefitting Autism Speaks. On March 5 and 6, 2013, five percent of sales from Lindt Chocolate RSVP in-home chocolate parties across the country will be donated to Autism Speaks. Then, on March 12, 2013, the Lindt Chocolate Shop in Princeton, N.J., will be donating 15 percent of sales to the organization. "Today, autism affects one in every 88 children, as well as countless friends and families," said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. "We are grateful and committed to our partnership with Lindt, and appreciate their continuing support as we look to change the future for all who struggle with the disorder." On March 5, 2013, Lindt will launch the fourth Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks. The auction will feature porcelain versions of the iconic Lindt GOLD BUNNY autographed by top celebrities who have lent their signatures to the cause. For more information about the auction, hosted on LindtGoldBunnyAuction.com, visit the Lindt Facebook page or the Lindt Twitter handle. For more information on the Lindt and Autism Speaks partnership and the Lindt GOLD BUNNY, visit LindtGOLDBUNNY.com, the Lindt Facebook page, the Lindt Twitter handle or the Lindt Pinterest page. For more information about Autism Speaks, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org. About Lindt & Sprungli Founded in 1845, Lindt & Sprungli is a global leader in the premium chocolate category, offering high-quality products in more than 125 countries. Lindt & Sprungli operates eight production facilities in Europe and the United States and employs 7,700 worldwide. Lindt USA operates more than 60 retail stores in the U.S., Lindt Chocolate RSVP, the company's premium direct selling program, and maintains wide distribution through extensive retail and wholesale channels. For more information on Lindt, visit www.lindt.com. About Autism Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis. About Autism Speaks Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org. SOURCE Lindt USA