Gospel fundraiser aims to bolster Autism awareness

By Rachel McAuley

March 28, 2014

LAURINBURG — A group of Scotland County parents on April 6 will hold a gospel concert to help support families affected by a disorder that is more common than childhood cancer.

The event is one of several sponsored by the Autism Society of N.C. during Autism Awareness Month.

“We can bring awareness to the community about our children that are diagnosed with autism,” said Essie Davis, autism resource specialist of the Autism Society.

The Benefit Gospel Concert will be held April 6 at I.E. Johnson Elementary School and feature Men in Christ, Little David and New Faith, The Thomas Brothers and The Anointed McGirt Sisters. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the program will start at 4 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased for $7, or at the door for $10.

Hot dogs and drinks will be on sale at the benefit and all of the proceeds will go to the Autism Summer Enhancement Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

“I’ve sponsored gospel concerts in the past,” said Davis. “People really enjoy it. We’re a community that enjoys gospel singing. I came up with the idea and shared it with the chapter — with the parents — and they agreed to support me in this.”

According to the Autism Society of N.C’s website, the Autism Spectrum Disorder is a brain disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate, behave and socially interact with others. The disorder makes it difficult for someone affected to understand what they hear, see and sense.

Autism is the second most common developmental disability. It is estimated that, today, one out of 68 children born in the country has some form of autism.

Even though it was first identified over 70 years ago, the cause or cure for the disorder has yet to be found.

For information or to purchase tickets for the Benefit Gospel Concert, call Davis at 910-384-4291.

Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.