By Troy Reissmann
Nearly 1 out of every 68 kids born today will eventually be diagnosed with some form of autism. This is an alarming fact that we all have to deal with on some level. Everyone knows someone who has autism, or has a member of their family with it. My son was diagnosed around the time of his third birthday. He is now an adult. When diagnosed, the rate was 1 in every 16,000.
While there is no known cure, there are some simply coping methods that can make these special people’s lives better. One of the most important is a communication device, like an iPad. My son’s iPad is his voice. It’s one of his main learning tools, as well as his daily scheduler and other things. Without this little piece of technology, I really don’t know where we would be. The only problem is this technology can be costly and is simply out of the reach of some families.
The money raised from Rock for Autism will once again be used to grant iPad wishes to adults and children throughout NE Wisconsin. The iPad packages will include a heavy duty case and many apps proven to help out people with autism. This is an awesome package, coordinated by Lynn Messer, Past Governor of the Wisconsin Kiwanis.
So, what exactly is Rock for Autism?
Billed as the largest single day benefit in Wisconsin, this summer heads out on a high note! The second annual Rock for Autism is slated for August 16 and will be held at Headliners Bar in Neenah. This year’s event will have something for everyone. There will be a dozen bands, featuring many of Wisconsin’s most popular music acts like Rob Anthony, The Traveling Suitcase, Bad Habitz and Boxkar! All the formentioned bands are headliners themselves and are taking time out of their busy summer schedules to be here. Our Headliners are true Wisconsin Legends! We are bringing back Wisconsin’s own BoDeans for their one and only show this summer in the state. The BoDeans will take the main stage at around 8:30 pm, preceded by Boxkar and The Traveling Suitcase. The inside stage will feature bands like Foolish Behavior and Christopher Gold & The Old Things New and headlined by Bad Habitz. Outside on the small stage will be many acoustic acts like Wilfret & Miss, On2 and everyone’s favorite Rob Anthony!
If that isn’t enough, we will be having some great celebrity Meet & Greets! You can meet local TV legend, Ned the Dead…..or what? You can try on Packer Hall of Famer Chris Jacke’s Super Bowl Ring. Two more great Wisconsin legends! We also added someone who, personally, I have always had a crush on!! America’s Sweetheart and a true TV Icon, Dawn Wells will be joining us!! Dawn is best known as one of our favorite castaways, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island! Dawn told me recently she had a special place in her heart for autism as Bob “Gilligan” Denver had a son who was autistic.
Please plan on coming down to Headliners Bar in Neenah on August 16 for this very special event. Together we can make the lives of our friends, family members and neighbors with autism a little easier. You can get tickets online at www.rockforautism.net. There are many ticket options available.
Troy Reissmann is the Chairman of Rock for Autism