Boy’s artwork to be displayed as part of fundraiser

Boy’s artwork to be displayed as part of fundraiserBy Carole Liston 

Paul Whitehill says he became involved in the planning of Art, Autism and Remembrance — an outdoor music festival and silent auction scheduled for Thursday — for personal reasons. That is until he met an 11-year-old named Quincy Graves, who is autistic.  

“He tied it all together for me,” said Whitehill, head of Joplin-based Whitehill Enterprises, a private consulting firm for public art and custom tile murals.

Quincy’s artwork will be displayed Thursday alongside works donated by regional artists. Quincy, a sixth-grade student, told Whitehill that he wanted to donate his artwork to help raise money for others.

Funds raised at the event will be used to provide scholarships and to help with other costs at the Bill and Virginia Leffen Center for Autism. The center, a part of Freeman Health System, was opened in 2007. It focuses on using applied behavior analysis therapy for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The center’s previous location was destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Some of the proceeds will go to Art Feeds, which provides therapeutic art and creative education classes within schools and other children’s programs. The organization, active in Joplin after the tornado, also has dispatched educators to other disaster-stricken areas such as Moore, Oklahoma.

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