Parents of Children with Autism to Perform Stand-up Comedy as Part of Innovative Fundraiser

Contact: Keenan Stump Phone: 913-549-8282 Alternate Phone Number: 816-533-4757 Email: Keenan@newballoonkc.com

Kansas City, MO - Keenan Stump, speech therapist and owner of New Balloon Therapy Services is temporarily putting business aside to complete details for an event designed to bring awareness of how beautifully funny the lives of families of children with autism can be. “An Evening With The Rents” is believed to be the first fundraiser of its kind, and Kansas City is demonstrating proud support.

Since last October, Stump has paired parents of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder with local comedians to turn their stories about parenting into stage-ready comic material. Word of mouth has led to additional local businesses stepping forward to sponsor the event and KCUR 89.3 FM is devoting the February 21st episode of “Up To Date with Steve Kraske” to a discussion about issues that have emerged surrounding the event (e.g., parental empowerment, humor as stress release, equality of opportunity, etc.).

Lou Melgarejo, Chicago resident, parent of a daughter with autism, and winner of the national 2011 “Speak Out Award” (given by Autism Speaks) heard about the event and asked to be a performer. "I was really excited to participate as soon as I heard about 'An Evening with the 'Rents.’ I think people tend to focus on the more challenging aspects related to autism, and they gloss over the fantastic and funny moments that are unique to raising a child on the spectrum," said Melgarejo.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Camp Encourage, an overnight summer camp devoted to the social growth and independence of children with autism. This 21 and over event is taking place at the classic Mission Theatre on Friday, February 28th, 2014, from 7 to 10 P.M.

New Balloon Therapy Services can be found online at www.newballoonkc.com. Full event details and tickets for An Evening With The Rents can be found at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/549916 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/eveningwiththerents.

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