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B.J. Surhoff continues to go to bat for autism awareness, with a little help from friends

Former Oriole B.J. Surhoff, president of Pathfinders for Autism, opens the organization's 15th anniversary event at SECU Arena at Towson University on Jan. 21, 2015.
Former Oriole B.J. Surhoff, president of Pathfinders for Autism, opens the organization's 15th anniversary event at SECU Arena at Towson University on Jan. 21, 2015. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Orioles Hall of Famer B.J. Surhoff might have retired from baseball after the 2005 season, but he's not really retired. He just changed hats and now serves as president of the board of Pathfinders for Autism, which provides support for people who live with autism and their families.

So, while he waits to see whether the Orioles will need his help at spring training in February, he's getting the word out for this year's Finding Your Path Leadership Conference on Jan. 13 at Towson University's SECU Arena.

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B.J. and Polly Surhoff have been major figures in Maryland's autism support community since their son Mason was diagnosed with the disorder.

The all-day event features inspirational presentations from well-known figures from all walks of life, including Matt Eversmann, whose heroism in the Battle of Mogadishu (Somalia) was documented in the movie "Black Hawk Down," soccer star Mia Hamm, Ollies Bargain Outlets CEO Mark Butler and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop. Orioles manager Buck Showalter will top off the afternoon with a one-on-one conversation with broadcaster Mark Viviano.

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Proceeds support the mission of Pathfinders For Autism, the state's largest autism organization dedicated to helping individuals, parents and professionals find resources, supports and training while working to increase the awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

For more information and tickets, visit www.pathfindersforautism.org.

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