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January 17, 2018

Eagles Autism Challenge donations to be matched ahead of NFC Championship game

Some Philadelphia Eagles fans were probably in a more pleasant and giving mood than usual after the Birds upset the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.

But one fan saw the Eagles' NFC Championship birth as an opportunity to raise more money for the team's upcoming fundraiser for autism research.

The Eagles announced a "Matching Gift Drive" on Wednesday for its Autism Challenge on May 19, which includes a one-day bike ride and 5K run/walk events organized by the team. 

Thanks to the unnamed season-ticket holder, the first $25,000 in donations given by participants from 10 a.m. Wednesday until the scheduled 6:40 p.m. kickoff on Sunday will be matched dollar for dollar. The fan "wants to bring Eagles Autism Challenge supporters together for double the impact" ahead of Sunday's game, the team said.

Proceeds will benefit research efforts at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

Participants can either take part in a cycling circuit that's 15, 30 or 50 miles long, or a family-friendly 5K run/walk. All routes start at Lincoln Financial Field and end on the field's 50-yard line.

The Eagles announced the fundraiser in September, saying they plan to make it an annual event.

The matching offer does not apply to registration costs or related fees.