Rockin’ for Autism is Still Rockin’

Mallory Banks, a Scotch Plains-Fanwood high school senior, didn’t let the Coronavirus pandemic stop her from organizing Rockin’ for Autism, an annual event that raises awareness and money for Autism. 
“Due to the pandemic, our outdoor public concert and festival were canceled,” Mallory said. “I was devastated because it is my senior year of high school… [My mother and I] thought about doing the merchant raffle online, but then we heard from many of the bands that they were sad the event was canceled, so we decided to have a virtual Rockin’ for Autism concert.”  
Rockin for Autism was started by Mallory when she was nine. Her main goals for the events include spreading awareness, inspiring others, and raise money to donate to Autism NJ.
“My older brother Ethan has autism and I felt that I needed to help in some sort of way… [My family and I] asked neighbors and friends to help us bake baked goods for a bake sale,” Mallory said. “The following Saturday I had the bake sale on a soccer field at Evergreen Elementary school. I raised over $500 that year.” 
While many beloved aspects of the event were canceled such as the raffle, bake sale, and vendor tables, many bands were still able to record performances and people from all across the country were able to tune in and enjoy the show. 
Sofia Corsaro, a sophomore at SPF high school, also has an autistic older brother and she loves Rockin’ for Autism and what it stands for. 
“I think that Mallory is amazing for starting this organization and connecting it to music. My autistic brother loves music a lot and loves dancing and singing in general,” Sofia said. “I’m sure plenty of people were looking forward to the concert, however, I still think it is excellent that they are doing a concert online.”
With hard work and help from her community, Mallory raised over $7,000 so far this year. Rockin’ for Autism still thrived, despite the challenges that the coronavirus presented.