LakeWales , FL – Camp Mack River Resort was close to reaching capacity during the 2nd annual Rockin’ on the River (ROTR) weekend. ROTR, Inc. is a non profit created to support local organizations who improve the lives for those in the autism spectrum. This year’s 3-day event included free entertainment by Coastal Acoustics Barefoot, Red Hot Rooster, Hunter Smith and Friends, Next Level Band, B. Haven, and Raisin’ Cain. Special recognition was given to the Nathan Baldwin Band and BlackWater for donating their time and musical talent for such a great cause! Through sponsorships, donations and community support, ROTR 2016 raised enough funds to donate almost $25,000 to the local nonprofits.
Our Children’s Academy (OCA), a special needs school in Lake Wales, received $15,000 as this year’s elite benefactor. OCA offers a unique educational program where educators, behavior specialists, and therapists work together to achieve the goals set for each individual child.
“What a blessing it is to be appreciated and supported by the community.”
Steve Whitaker, Executive Director for OCA, has already earmarked the donation for the new school being built. OCA plans to open the doors of the new facility in time for the first day of school in August.
Other benefactors include Central Florida Autism Institute, the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club of Winter Haven, Sidestreet Art Beat, and the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team.
ROTR Board Members also presented On the Edge Children’s Foundation with a donation during their first Adaptive Freedom Festival held in Winter Haven. On the Edge brings children and others together who would not typically be involved in water sports activities.
One additional recipient, Alliance for Independence, focuses soley on adults with autism. Board Member Tim Kiley accepted the blessing with a smile. “AFI appreciates the donation and all of the work that went into putting on the event at Camp Mack. AFI has been empowering adults with disabilities in Polk County for over 60 years. Without the help and support of our partners and friends in the community, it would not be possible to maintain the level of services our clients have come to expect. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of the developmentally disabled in Polk County, and to working with our friends and partners to make life better in our community for all individuals who have special needs.”
Appreciation was given to the countless sponsors who made the weekend a huge success and plans for Rockin’ on the River 2017 are already underway! Stay tuned as the team behind Rockin’ continue to make a difference for so many uniquely challenged individuals throughout Polk County!