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Pump It Up fundraiser for Autism Speaks

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 19, 2013 1:22 p.m. CDT
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Ian Murphy climbs on obstacles to reach a slide inside Pump It Up in Crystal Lake.
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
A child runs in front of a giant inflatable slide at Pump It Up in Crystal Lake.
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Jessica Murphy of Cary helps her son Ian Murphy, 2, with a toy hoop at Pump It Up ini Crystal Lake.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Pump It Up Crystal Lake is hosting an event next week to raise money for autism research.

Pump It Up Crystal Lake is joining with 149 other Pump It Up franchises across the nation to hold an “Imagination Celebration Great Open Jump.”

The event, which has a Christmas-in-July theme, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. July 24, at Pump It Up, 1095 Pingree Road, Unit 114, Crystal Lake. It is open to the public for a suggested donation of $10 per person.

The money will go to Autism Speaks, a nonprofit group that funds autism research and raises awareness about autism spectrum disorders. 

“We’ve supported autism research and advocacy for the past several years with annual Great Open Jump fundraisers at our locations,” Pump It Up CEO Lee Knowlton said in a statement. “This year, we’re giving the events a new twist by tying in our imagination-based platform. The Imagination Celebration themes are designed to allow children to foster their creativity and be whoever or whatever they want to be while having fun at our indoor, inflatable play grounds.”

Vincent Payne, who took over ownership of the Crystal Lake Pump It Up in March, said he picked Christmas in July as a theme to encourage people to give a gift to Autism Speaks at the Great Open Jump event.

“Everyone loves Christmas,” he said. “We wanted to bring the happiness and spirit of that season to this event.”

He said he hopes to get 100 people to come out to the event.

Pump It Up began its support of autism research and advocacy in 2007 after many franchises noticed a trend of families seeking out the sensory environment for children on the autism spectrum.

“It’s actually therapeutic, calming,” Payne said. “It allows them to play and be safe.”

Since 2007, the company has raised more than $75,000 for Autism Speaks, according to a press release.

Pump It Up launched a “Save Childhood, Support Imagination” campaign this year to encourage families to increase imaginative playtime at home.

To that end, Payne plans to add three new installations at Pump It Up Crystal Lake this year that are specifically designed to foster imaginative play.

It will also be expanding open jump sessions to include various themes, such as super hero training camp, to encourage imaginative play, Payne said.

Pump It Up Crystal Lake opened for business in late 2005. 

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