The annual Boots, Bands and Bonfire in the Boro will take place at Nobody’s Bar and Grill in Murfreesboro benefiting Autism Speaks on Saturday, April 26.
“They have been so helpful,” event organizer Holly Thornhill said of Nobody’s owners Kat and Dave McCauley. “I never had somebody that wants to help as much as they do. The owners also have an autistic son, Ian, so they also understand the cause. It makes it so easy to get the benefit off the ground.”
The event will be held outdoors from 7 p.m.-midnight, and it will include a bonfire, food and music. The first 200 people will receive free beer and hot wings. There will also be a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle where the winner wins half the pot raised that night.
Special musical guests include Logan Blade, who is a young autistic singer who got to perform at the Grand Old Opry with Josh Turner. He will perform from 7-8 p.m. The music group Zone Status also will perform at the benefit.
It was the brainchild of Thornhill, who started the event five years ago. Her autistic son, Hunter, is currently a sixth-grader at Blackman Middle School and was a member of the school’s swim team this season.
She wanted to hold a benefit to help raise money for those families, who could not afford to pay for care. Tennessee is one of 15 states in the nation which does not cover autism insurance.
“These families are struggling with second and third mortgages on their home just to pay for the therapy,” Thornhill said. “I feel like God gave us a high functioning child for a reason, and we are supposed to take that time we would normally spend on him and help the cause. We started to do these benefits back five years ago. It is a good way to educate and advocate.”
Thornhill added her son is covered by military insurance and she wanted to hold this event to help those families in need of support.
The money raised from the benefit will go to the Autism Speaks foundation. The organization gave 2.7 million dollars to Vanderbilt last year, according to Thornhill.