Gospel concert helps raise money and awareness for autism center

Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 9:12 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - On Sunday, the Ground Zero Blues Club was ground zero for Gospel. There’s nothing like using praise and worship to raise the spirit and raise money for the Mississippi Center for Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities.

“We have family members and loved ones that battled with autism,” said Keith Brumfield with Unfazed Show and Band. “So, we wanted to help them. But the main goal was to worship and come together as Christians that we are.”

The event was organized Unfazed Show and Band, led by Brumfield and Cedric Goodman.

“It’s all about the love of God flowing,” Goodman said. “People are hurting these days. People are going through things. So, this is a way that we can bring everybody together. No drama, no type of prejudice. Just coming together and lift your hands and worship God and feel the love from everybody.”

This the first non-profit support function of this size for the club.

“This has been a really great collaboration with the Mississippi Center for Autism,” said Ground Zero administrator Caroline Croom. “We’re so proud to learn about what they bring and offer and then how we can meet and help their vision.”

And it’s a different approach from the normal fundraising efforts.

“There are a lot of generous people and caring people out here,” said Leslie Johnson with MCARDD. “This is just a new way to spread the word that we are here to take care of autistic children in this community.”

And her son, Donald Johnson, is equally appreciative.

“We greatly appreciate the Ground Zero Blues Club’s support of the Mississippi Center for Autism and Related Disabilities,” he said.

The center’s board chairman, Dr. Alfred McNair, said this event and others like it are well received, but the financial pipeline needs rebuilding.

“We are currently seeing about 48 people at our center,” he said. “We have applications for over 400. Of that 400, about 80 percent are Medicaid...we really need help. We need help from the whole state to get our Legislature to help us get Medicaid to try to help support our children.”

Special performing artists for the event also included James Bolton, James E. McGhee III, C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence and Charles Carter.

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