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Painting on the Porch raises money for autism program


By Jimmy Cochran

  On Labor Day, the front porch of Jea and Pete Gackowski in McDonough was full of budding artists, paying $50 each to raise money in hopes of creating more awareness of Henry County Autism Transition Services. Jeff Hunter, a local artist, donated his time and materials to teach two groups of interested artists who wanted to both learn painting and to promote a good cause. Jea Gackowski was happy to open her home and porch to the group. This way, 100% of the money could go to the Autism program.

Artist Jeff Hunter instructs a participant at the recent Painting on the Porch fundraiser held at the McDonough home of Jea and Pete Gackowski.                                Photo by Jimmy Cochran

  "We had wanted to do something like this for some time and I was glad to volunteer my front porch. Pete and I have a lot of functions here and what better thing to do than learn painting and support the cause of autism education in the County," said Gackowski.

  Director of the Henry County Autism Transition Services, Pamela Mitchell, was excited about the people attending and for the future of autism awareness.

  "We are wanting to do more educating in the community and in the school systems so that the word “autistic” is more clearly understood. These are people that are often shunned or ignored because they seem different, when in actuality their learning and functioning capabilities can be unlimited," said Mitchell. "Our 2-week summer camp was a huge success and the children are already wanting to know if we are having one next year."

  For more information on the Autism Transition Center, or how you can help, please contact Pamela Mitchell at 678-272-8975.



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