“Rockin’ for Autism” rocks LaGrande Park

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Kevin Eviner

The second annual “Rockin’ for Autism” music festival held on Saturday, April 30th was filled with different activities like a children’s obstacle course, around the clock bands playing classic rock for the event, local restaurant businesses, and new sections like the “Chill Zone”
The whole idea started with 15-year-old Mallory Banks who, in the past, has done tremendous amounts of work to raise over $20,000 for organizations like Autism NJ. Her motivation is her older brother Ethan who is affected by autism and who has inspired his younger sister to go beyond expectations and become very prominent in Autism Awareness Month.
The event went from 10am to 7pm with different bands and activities planned for every part of the day. Special events included yoga, book readings, bingo, a children’s obstacle course, and a raffle. What added to the atmosphere was that the playground and fields were also used by children who were playing four square, football, baseball, and scattered games of tag and such.
There was also a food section made up of local businesses like Nick’s Pizza, Rocko’s Ice Cream, The Empanada Guy, Red White and Que, Fanwood Grille, The Juice House, baked goods from different local bakeries, and new this year was Sheelen’s Crossing and Beer Garden.
Another new feature this year was the “Chill Zone” where people could get away from the big crowd and the music for some quiet time. The activities that were held at there were story reading and Jammin’ Jenn music therapy.
On top of all of these there were also more than 20 different vendors from a large spectrum of organizations. Just some were Lisa Sky Jewelry where you could browse and buy necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry, Disney Vacations where you could meet with someone and explore the possibilities of a vacation to Disneyworld or Land, and Autism NJ where could could get more information about the organization and get involved in future events. With this many different vendors for the adults to browse through, and the activities geared towards kids there was always something fun for someone to do. And if in doubt there was always the food area where you could enjoy what SPF had to offer.
To get more information or to get involved with Rockin’ for Autism in the future, visit www.rockin4autism.org