Autism Awareness fundraisers nets enough to cover cost of pallet’able art installation

Disco Ball Events owner Jay Bradley presents a cheque to Lennox Addington County Autism Network members Sarah Fisher and Mandy Stapley. Along with $300 raised at an event held at his roller rink, Bradley donated an extra $100 to help fund an art project that will promote inclusion in the Lennox and Addington community. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

A roller skating themed fundraiser hosted at Napanee’s Disco Ball Events in support of Lennox and Addington County Autism Network (LACAN) was a resounding success.

The Oct. 24 event reached its maximum indoor capacity of 50 people and generated $300, which was rounded up to $400 courtesy a $100 donation by Disco Ball Events owner Jay Bradley.

His donation was just what LACAN needed to reach their goal to fund a new addition to Greater Napanee’s pallet’able art project. The artwork will be geared towards promoting inclusion.

“I’m going to connect with Tim Nimigan (of Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association) about neurodiversity and diversity and inclusion in the community and this money covers the cost of this project,” said Mandy Stapley of LACAN. “Everybody that was (at the roller skating event) had a really good time and we met new families that are on the spectrum and some adults on the spectrum, it was so good. We’re pretty pumped.”

This year marked the second annual Autism Awareness event held at the roller rink located at 170 York St. The fundraiser was held as part of the month long national campaign to encourage understanding and acceptance of people living on the spectrum.

Stapley says the group will now work with a local artist over the winter to create a design that will be painted onto a wooden pallet, which will be installed at Winchester Drive Park. A formal unveiling of the art project will be held in the spring.

“I did give an idea of what we wanted designed in it,” said Stapley. “The arts council meeting passed it at their meeting on Oct. 20 and I just connected with Lyndsay Tee (of the town’s Municipal Arts and Culture Advisory Committee) and I’m going to chat with Tim Nimigan and I have drafted three or four concept ideas that I’m going to submit with him.”

The town’s Communities in Bloom will help with the project as well, creating a garden to accompany the art display. Similar art pallets with a range of themes can be found throughout the Greater Napanee community.

Along with the art project LACAN is also working on a free sensory friendly yoga event to be held at Hickory Lane Alpaca farm on Nov. 14 from noon until 3 p.m. More on the event can be found at the Facebook page Sensory Friendly Alpaca Adventure.

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