Dual efforts benefit Rett Syndrome support

 By Theresa Java

 Michelle Bennett has been really busy lately. She’s organizing the Purple Pumpkin Gala for Rett Syndrome in honor of her daughter, Stella, set for Saturday, Oct. 1. It’s a two-part endeavor — one, organize the party and, two, collect the special artist-painted pumpkins from where they’ve been scattered around town.

 The works of art, painted on synthetic pumpkins, have been on display since this summer at various businesses and public locations. The pumpkins are now being collected and the one that received the most $1 votes will be announced as winner during the gala.

 With the voting over, and the tickets to the gala completely sold out, there is still one way to help. Buy the book — “Raise A Hand.” The book was put together by Clint Black’s brother, Kevin, who recruited musicians from every walk of life — Paul McCartney to Dolly Parton — to appear in the coffee table picture book. In each photo, the rockers are raising a hand. Photographer Dave Clements collaborated with Kevin on the project.

 Bennett said Kevin Black will be at the gala. He’s been a staunch advocate of Rett Syndrome awareness for the last 13 years since his 16-year-old daughter, Cortney, succumbed to the neurological disorder. 

 To support Bennett’s important work and to help find a cure, purchase a copy of the book “Raise A Hand.” The cost is $35 and all proceeds go directly to Rettsyndrome.org in hopes of inching closer to a cure for this debilitating disorder. Kevin Black will personally sign your purchased copy of the book. Contact Bennett by phone at 305-434-5062 or email her at [email protected] to pick up a book.    

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