On August 12th, 2010, The 6th Branch hosted their first major fundraising event. It was a night of support for The Center for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CAASD) at Towson University (TU). The event took place at Skylofts Gallery, the home of The 6th Branch and Veteran Artist Program. Brian McDonald Sr., a fabulous jazz trombonist, kept the crowd entertained with a slew of cover songs and original jazz music. Matt Kaiser, a comedian with Asperger’s Syndrome, performed a hysterical stand-up routine. Alex from Alex’s Art Loft, a young man with autism that uses art to communicate generously donated several pieces to the auction and was there in attendance with his beautiful handmade jewelery, cards, and paintings.
An animated exhibition created by the adults at CAASD was featured and presented by TU instructor Sujan Shrestha and student Melissa Miller. Many pieces of art were donated to the auction by artists and donors including Helene Haviland, Al Zaruba, Liz Swanson, J. Kelly Lane, Tracy Miller, and Veteran Artist Program artist and 6th Branch founder Greg Lamberson. Lisa Crabtree of CAASD described the services provided at the CAASD and the future of the facility, as well as the new partnership with The 6th Branch. At the night’s conclusion, 6th Branch founders announced that nearly $5,000 was raised! The Loyola Clinical Centers and TBC helped ensure the event’s success through sponsorship, and many local business donated items for auction and prize giveaways. Contributors included Bond Distributing, Maryland Public Television, Bill Bateman’s Bistro, Centerstage, and Serigraphics. A diverse crowd of students, veterans, artists, mental health workers, local businesses, as well as family and friends collaborated to make it a truly special night that we hope will make a real difference in the lives of adults with autism.