Shortly after Jon decided he wanted to hold a band concert for Autism Awareness he had the opportunity to attend a presentation by our next recipient Marty Murphy. We wanted Jon to learn more about his diagnosis and Marty is a local celebrity and a published author on autism and is a brilliant public speaker. Jon was mesmerized by Marty and he wanted to buy her book and to ask her to autograph it.

While we visited with other members of the audience, Jon walked up to Marty and basically told her his life story. Jon did that a lot. He told Marty about his dream to have a concert and invite other bands to play and raise lots of money for autism awareness. He told her he wanted to donate the money to teachers so they could help children like him. He got so excited and carried away that he asked Marty to be the keynote speaker and she said, “YES! “ I was about to have a heart attack because I knew we couldn’t afford to pay Marty. She must have seen the look of panic on my face as I was trying to figure out if I could use the house payment to pay for what Jon had just done, and Marty said to Jon, “I am not going to charge my usual fee, I like you and I’ m going to do it for FREE. “

Jon later told us that meeting Marty was so healing for him. He finally understood himself. She had answered all of his questions about why he did what he did. It all finally made sense. The Band concert was a huge success and Marty outshined the Civil War band that promised to bring an enormous entourage with them. She stole the show and in the process made Jon a super star overnight!

So tonight we honor you Marty Murphy for your gift of time and talent as one of our family HEROES!