Raise the Spectrum a Night of Autism Awareness

Raise the spectrumOn June 30, The Observatory, Orange County was rockin’ for a cause.  Mest, Rebel Revive, Hideouts and Snake Oil Salesmen took the stage for “Raise the Spectrum, a Night of Autism Awareness” benefitting We are the SPARK Project .  Seeing a need for practical services and support for families of children with autism, local small business owners, John Vasquez and Denise Falcon, launched We Are The Spark Project earlier this year. The show was a way to introduce the non-profit organization to many new individuals and music fans. Those in attendance got to enjoy the bands and know that the proceeds were going to a good cause.

We are the SPARK Project’s mission is to assist and empower the parents and families with autistic children. They provide direct family financial assistance by supplying food, clothing, home repairs, home security and funding for bills and education for the autistic children and their families. John, Denise and all of those involved in We are the SPARK Project believe that by raising awareness and providing opportunities for involvement, people can change the lives of the families with autism in very tangible ways

By the Barricade was able to talk with John Vasquez about the night and future plans for We are the SPARK Project.

By the Barricade: What was the evening’s biggest success?

John Vasquez: The biggest success for the the evening, in my opinion, was getting the show put on and running smooth.  It was a culmination of about 4 months’ worth of work to get it to happen.  Being a non-profit that was started with a total of about $3,000 of my personal money it took lots of hard work and dedication to turn the $3,000 into the $12,000 it took to put the show on.  Being a start-up non-profit many businesses were reluctant to sponsor the show so the only help we received was from Johnny’s Saloon in Huntington Beach and Golden State Tattoo in Garden Grove.  Without the help we got from these two companies I don’t believe this show would have been possible.  I can’t express in words my gratitude to these two businesses for having the faith in me and what I am trying to do with We are the SPARK Project.

By the Barricade: What is next for We Are the Spark Project?

John Vasquez: The next project in line for We are the SPARK Project will be on a much smaller scale in the form of a bake sale and a local car wash or two to start building up funds to make it to the next two major projects.  The first major project will be a Vegas fundraising night where we will bring in black jack, poker, craps and roulette tables into a local small restaurant where we can gather hopefully around 200 to 300 people to have a good time while raising money for a great cause.  The second event will be another concert.

By the Barricade: What can someone do to help or get involved?

we are the spark projectJohn Vasquez: If someone would like to get in contact with the foundation to help out they can email me, John Vasquez at wearethesparkproject@gmail.com.  We have a ton of areas right now where a volunteer can help out.  We love to see people getting involved to help out others in need!

By the Barricade: Is there anything else you want to tell By the Barricade readers?

John Vasquez: If you know anyone that would be interested in donating or helping out a one of a kind foundation please have them look at our website, www.wearethesparkproject.org, and get in contact with John at wearethesparkproject@gmail.com.  We can use all the help we can get to continue putting on these awesome events as well as provide direct help to families with autistic children.  If you know of a family with autistic children that is in need of some assistance please let them know about our foundation and hopefully we can get in contact with them and make a difference.

Thank you all so much for your support and again a huge thank you to Johnny’s Saloon in Huntington Beach, CA and Golden State Tattoo in Garden Grove, CA.  If you get a chance please check out these businesses and show your support!!  Thank you to the bands that performed at the Raise the Spectrum event, Mest, Rebel Revive, Hideouts and Snake Oil Salesmen.  All the bands were amazing and put on a great show for a great cause!

Keep it on Bythebarricade.com for more  rock interviews, reviews, articles, and photos! Also, “Like” By the Barricade on Facebook to never miss a post. If you liked this article check out our interviews with the bands featured at Raise the Spectrum:

Mest Interview

Rebel Revive Interview

Hideouts Interview

Snake Oil Salesmen Interview

Rock The Arts Review

Susan Proctor

If working for Tumaini International helping aids orphans in Kenya isn’t enough, Susan spends almost every waking hour going to shows, doing interviews and editing articles. Her work behind the scenes is only rivaled by her sheer dedication to promoting bands. From Pennywise to other guys she’s covered it all, and been with By the Barricade since day one!

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