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Michelin Challenge Rugby match will benefit autism research

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Michelin North America Inc. is sponsoring an international rugby match, to be held on Aug. 9 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

A part of the proceeds from each ticket to "Michelin Challenge Rugby" will benefit autism research being conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

The contest will feature leading French rugby team ASM Clermont-Auvergne and the U.S. national team, the USA Eagles. ESPN Classic will broadcast the match live at 7 p.m. EDT.

"The latest research shows that autism affects one in 150 children and one in 94 boys," says Herb Johnson, Michelin's director of community relations. "What's more, the costs to each family dealing with autism are in the millions of dollars, and continue to rise.

"While researchers such as those at MUSC continue to make progress treating this condition, we want to support their efforts. Michelin Challenge Rugby gives us the ideal opportunity to do that."

Autism is a brain development disorder that first appears during infancy or childhood and generally follows a steady course as time goes by without significant improvement. Children with autism have multiple symptoms, often showing severe impairments in social skills and language development.

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex.

Tickets to the international exhibition match start at $20 and are available at www.tickets.com. A limited number of VIP tickets also are available. They include access to the Three Lions Club (at Blackbaud Stadium) and complimentary food and beverages.

For groups of 10, VIP tickets or for more information, call the Blackbaud Stadium box office at (843) 971-4625. Find out more by visiting www.michelinchallengerugby.com.

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