The commercial real estate group is teaming up with
Bill Gladstone, the principal of the
"It started very small," he said. "We would sponsor
The first year of the event was in
This year they are aiming to raise
Gladstone said they have a fire truck, a hair stylist, arts and crafts and service dogs before the short, one-hour performance of "Dr. Dolittle Jr."
"It's on its way to becoming a bigger event," he said. "We get out of the shadow of the other events. We can stand out and say this is the Bill Gladstone event, and that's what we were kind of shooting for when we did this event."
McGrath, the executive director of TrueNorth, said the funds that are raised by the event help any of the children's services the company offers. Children can be referred to TrueNorth by teachers or parents for anything that could be related to behavior problems.
The company also has adult services for people who could be depressed or anxious or just need somewhere to turn for help dealing with an issue.
"If the family needs to come or go during the performance, that's fine," McGrath said. "Families frequently feel reluctant to take their special needs child to a regular theater just because there can be some barriers. So it's a free performance for families with special needs children, and it allows them to bring their child to an accepting and warm environment to see a neat show."
Local students from the
Parents can RSVP for the free event by calling the
Those who cannot attend the event can still make a donation to TrueNorth at bit.ly/DrDolittle.
Gladstone said he looks forward to raising more money to support programs for children with autism or other special needs as well as promote awareness of the disorder. He said since becoming involved with planning this event over the past three years, he has learned so much about autism and hopes to pass that knowledge along to others.
"We're opening it up to other mental health conditions (this year)," Gladstone said. "It was a good things, all the people working on it here, in my group, felt good about it. They could actually be there with the people and mingle and feel the reward of having been able to be instrumental in the community."
(c)2014 The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.)
Visit The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.) at www.cumberlink.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services