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Yes I Can students hold fundraiser at Mountasia tonight

Posted: March 6, 2008 1:33 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Here's the flyer for the Summer Meltdown fundraiser Friday night at Mountasia.

 

Yes I Can, the William S. Hart Union High School District's organization for students with special needs, will hold a fundraiser tonight at the Mountasia Family Fun Center in Saugus.

All ages are welcome, and proceeds will go to help fund the May 10 "Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion Concert" at Golden Valley High school's outdoor amphitheater.

The upcoming concert, to feature nearly a dozen bands during the afternoon and evening, is the fifth annual event being produced by the Yes I Can students with guidance from Bret Lieberman, Yes I Can program director at Golden Valley.

"Mountasia is giving us an amazing 50 percent fundraiser," Lieberman said. "For $19.99, you'll get unlimited play for three hours between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on the go-karts, miniature golf, laser tag, bumper boats and the rock-climbing wall."

The Farrell's ice cream parlor and eatery at Mountasia is also participating in Friday's event. When visitors eating there mention "Yes I Can," Farrell's will donate 10 percent of the check to the Meltdown fund.
"This is a major social inclusion activity, and one that parents around the community should know about," Lieberman said.

"All Yes I Can classes have been invited, and to help increase attendance, the high school Yes I Can students and mentors are going to mentor any junior high students who come out to show their support," he said.

Yes I Can's attendance goal Friday night at Mountasia is 200-plus students. "If we have 100 students show up, we make $1,000 towards the Meltdown," Lieberman said.

***

Yes I Can is a program that pairs mentors with special-needs students at Hart district schools. The majority of Yes I Can students suffer from a high-functioning form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome, which deeply inhibits communication and social skills.

Out of the 21,000 students the district serves, approximately 16 percent are students who are often very bright but marginalized from the teen social scene. These more than 3,300 students are at risk of becoming adults who are estranged from the joys and achievements in life that come through normal social interaction.

What they suffer from is not the burden of drug addiction or delinquency, but the weight of their disorders, which serve as walls separating them from normal self-initiated interaction with their peers.

The Yes I Can program is seeking to tear down those walls and promote unity through the joy of music and education. Producing the Summer Meltdown concert is an experience that provides a combination of the two.

Sick of Detention Productions is the production company comprised of all the Yes I Can students from the Hart district who join forces to present the May 10 concert.

To encourage growth via social interaction, Yes I Can advisors have the students act as the primary liaison between the bands and Sick of Detention. The students call agents, band members and sponsoring businesses to arrange the marathon concert's activities.

"We're in crunch time now - the artists the students want to book for the Summer Meltdown cost $10,000-plus," Lieberman said.

Mountasia is located at 21516 Golden Triangle Road in Saugus, 91350, near the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Golden Oak Road.

For more information about this Yes I Can fundraiser, as well as corporate sponsorship opportunities for the Summer Meltdown event, visit www.sponsorthemeltdown.com or www.higherlevelshows.com, or call Lieberman at (661) 298-8140, ext. 1414.

Andre Hollings contributed to this story.

The Signal is a proud sponsor of the 2008 Summer Meltdown concert.


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