On Thursday, the fifth annual Rock for Autism rock-a-thon will be held in the R.C. Cook Union lobby at The University of Southern Mississippi from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
The rocking chair marathon takes place each year to raise money to send children with autism to the Kamp Kaleidoscope summer camp.
Students will put together “rocking teams” to keep a rocking chair rocking for 12 straight hours. The teams will compete by collecting donations for the cause throughout the week leading up to the event as well as the day of the event. The teams and individuals who raise the most money will
The event will also feature drawings for gift baskets, a silent auction of items from Hattiesburg businesses, celebrity rockers and a silent dance party.
The rock-a-thon idea came from Marie Holowach, the founder of TEAAM USM, a student group that aims to raise awareness for autism. This will be the fifth year in a row that the student group organized the event.
“We chose rocking chairs because rocking is a very soothing action for individuals on the more severe end of the autism spectrum and it’s also very calming for students who are dealing with the end of the semester,” said Jamie Jelinski, vice president of TEAAM USM.
The goal of the rock-a-thon is not only to raise money, but to raise autism awareness.
“Personally, I hope that the rock not only raises money for the kids, but also raises awareness about what autism truly is and how many people it affects,” Jelinski said. “The current statistic is that 1 in 68 children has autism spectrum disorder.”
TEAAM USM is an autism advocacy student group at The University of Southern Mississippi. The group is the first university branch of Mississippi’s only statewide autism organization.
“TEAAM USM’s goal this year is to raise $4,800 to send eight autistic children to camp, but more importantly, we want to raise autism awareness in the community,” said Jenny Nguyen, TEAAM USM treasurer.
The event is open to the public.
Rock-a-Thon 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m
Silent Auction 9:00 a.m.-6p.m
Silent Dance Party 4:00p.m