Monday Apr 25, 2011

Art for Autism: Part II

A great new chapter in the story about how my daughter Bellamy is helping other families affected by Autism through her art work. Last year her painting went quickly during a silent auction to Mötley Crüe's front man Vince Neil at the annual Autism's Angels Gala put on by F.E.A.T.  This year Bellamy's painting was to go during the live auction.  We were extremely excited for this, and unlike last year, we actually were lucky enough have been graciously donated tickets to this years event.  We even got to ride in a stretch Hummer limo. Less than an hour before, I was coaching FC Lucky Charms for their 4:30 PM game that occurred in 90F temps.  Needless to say I was a bit rushed, and I don't think I stopped sweating until about midnight.  But that didn't stop my Charm from running out to give Mommy and Daddy a hug. :)

Once we got to the benefit and the artwork was taken backstage for the live auction, something very cool happened.  The very same Patron of the Arts, Vince Neil, was also in attendance and while wandering around, he saw Bellamy's painting back stage.  He told the F.E.A.T. people that the painting would "match nicely with the one he bought last year", and he wanted to know "what it would take" for her painting not to go on auction and allow him to purchase it.

The folks at F.E.A.T. told him to make them an interesting offer.  A bit later in the evening, but before the live auction started, the F.E.A.T. Fund-raising Chairperson stopped by our table and told us that Bellamy's painting would not be on live auction because Vince made her an offer she couldn't refuse. Honestly we were a bit disappointed that her painting wouldn't be auctioned live, but we were definitely excited to find out what this "offer" was. 

On with the live auction.  First item up for bid was from Vince Neil, a guitar that would be signed by all of Mötley Crüe, and included 5 backstage passes to an upcoming concert at the Red Rock Casino and Resort. That package sold for $3k. 

Turns out in order to ensure Vince would be the owner of Bellamy's second masterpiece, and her entire collection (except for two exclusive pieces for family members), he offered up an identical package and then some.  Right after the first Guitar sold, he got up on stage and announced the new package + matching donation. Unlike the first auction, Vince did the auctioning himself.  He stipulated the bidding would have to start at $5k and if someone bought the second package for $5k, he would make a $5k donation.  As you can imagine, the generated both applause and excitement, and the second package quickly sold for $7,500.  It turned out that part of the "deal" also included that he would also match the what the first guitar sold for.  To top it off, Vince Neil also paid $500 for Bellamy's painting, which was twice the amount that bought her first painting for.

All told, Bellamy's painting + Vince Neil's generosity help raise over $16,000 for families affected by Autism in Southern Nevada.  Oh, and we got a picture this year with Bella's Patron.  ;)

Thursday May 13, 2010

Art for Autism

My sister in law (Angel), who serves on the board of Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), had a great idea for their annual fund raising event "Autism Angels Gala".  Proceeds from this annual event go to benefit families affected by and living with autism by providing a variety of services, education, and most importantly advocacy for dealing with everyone and everything (especially things like school district IEP's).   Angel's idea was to have Bellamy paint a picture and put it up for auction at the event.  She brought over a large canvas, some paint and over several nights we let Bellamy paint.

One destroyed kitchen table later and we had a masterpiece. ;)

Now the special part of the story is who the high bidder was.  It was Vince Neil, front man of the legendary rock band Mötley Crüe

It's not that Vince is a celebrity, or that his band provided much of the soundtrack to people like me who grew up in the 80's that makes the story.  It's the fact that he was touched seeing Bellamy's Story (a photo and bio accompanied the painting).  And for her story to touch someone who lost his own daughter to cancer in 1995,  well, that's what makes this story extra special to me. 

Monday Apr 28, 2008

A Song for Autism

Where Have You Gone?  This song is written and performed by Richard Femenella, the GM of the Las Vegas Charlie Palmer Steakhouse about his son Joey affected by Autism.  Our connection with Richard is we both strongly feel our children were affected by vaccination injury.   This song played during a "presentation" of children affected by autism in Southern Nevada.  It was heart breaking for so many reasons (I'll admit I cried), but one of the biggest was the fact that so many of the pictures of the children showed direct eye contact.  It's hard to understand just how hard, direct eye contact that is, for children who are on the spectrum of autism.   I think that fact was lost on the all the rich people that attended (read donors).  But for a fundraiser, that's what you want...Rich people. 

Please have a listen.

 My wife and I were proud "donor" recipients of tickets to the $1000 per person "Autism's Angels Gala" hosted by F.E.A.T. (Families of Effective Autism Treatment) of Southern Nevada.  Yes, I wore a suit.  Pictures here.

Note:  All Rights/Credits to the song: Richard Femenella and David Vella

(No copyright info on the CD that was given in the Swag bag.  But I felt it would be a better "good" for more people to hear this song than not)


My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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