FANWOOD, NJ – Rockin’ For Autism also announced that its fourth annual music festival will be headlined by The B-Street Band, the original Bruce Springsteen tribute band, on Sunday, April 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at La Grande Park in Fanwood).
The B-Street Band first performed as “Backstreets, a Tribute to the Boss” on May 19, 1980, in Asbury Park for an audience of over 2,000 Springsteen fans, according to the group's website. Backstreets was the first band in the world to do a unique tribute to a live performer. (There are now an estimated 14,000 tribute bands following their lead and performing all over the world.)
Nearly 5,500 performances and 34 years later, the B-Street Band plays almost 200 shows per year across the country. It will be a homecoming of sorts for lead singer Glenn Stuart, who is a Fanwood resident and lives walking distance from LaGrande Park, where Rockin' for Autism takes place.
The event is the brainchild of 17-year-old Mallory Banks, who since 2011 has raised more than $52,000 in honor of her brother, Ethan (age 19). Banks, an Autism Awareness Junior Ambassador for the past eight years, ranks among the top young adults who raise money for autism in New Jersey.
The 2018 Rockin’ for Autism Music Festival was the top autism awareness fundraiser in the Garden State for Autism New Jersey. It raised more than $17,500 – an increase of more than 30% from 2017.
Over the past three years, the Rockin’ For Autism Music Festival has raised more than $41,000 through its merchant raffles, silent auctions, bake sales, event sponsorships, donations and other fundraising activities. Highlights from last year’s festival can be found at www.rockin4autism.org.
“Autism New Jersey is incredibly grateful for the broad community awareness and fundraising efforts generated by the Rockin’ For Autism Music Festival and the Banks family,” said Ellen Schisler, Associate Executive Director of Autism New Jersey. “Through their support, and the support of all of our donors, Autism New Jersey has been able to provide much-needed services and programs to individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder. But we are particularly proud of the ongoing commitment and dedication shown by Mallory Banks in support of our mission.”
As in years past, the festival will feature music from a variety of local bands and artists, a wide assortment of food trucks and local restaurants, a beer garden sponsored by Sheelen’s Crossing, a boulevard of local merchants and vendors, plus street performers, costumed characters and lots of fun activities for families.
“Last year, thousands of people attended The Rockin’ For Autism Music Festival to hear great music, eat great food and support a great cause, and because of them, Rockin’ For Autism reached a major fundraising milestone,” said Jeff Banks, father of Mallory and Ethan and co-chairman of the event. “This year’s festival will have more music, more food, more activities and attractions, and everything else that makes Rockin’ For Autism such a great family-friendly event. Our goal this year is to raise $20,000 for Autism New Jersey so we hope the community will join us in this effort.”
Rockin’ For Autism is actively seeking volunteers, vendors, merchant donations and corporate sponsors. For more information, or to donate, volunteer, sponsor or exhibit at the event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit www.rockin4autism.org, Facebook, Instagram (@Rockin_for_Autism) and Twitter (@Rockin4Autism).