Autos for Autism

A student at The Learning Tree paints car parts to make trophies for the Autos for Autism event on Saturday.

Students at The Learning Tree in Jacksonville will benefit from the first annual Autos for Autism car show on Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

The event will be at Jacksonville Muffler, 610 Pelham Road S. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

“The funds raised will go toward educational and residential supplies and for needed therapies here in the Jacksonville residential school,” said Erica Brown, the resource development coordinator at The Learning Tree.

Brown acquired the job because of her own interest in helping children with special needs. She and her husband, Shannon, have an 8-year-old daughter who receives services from a Learning Tree program, due to a rare epilepsy disorder and autism.

Local car clubs and those who have classic or antique cars have been encouraged to come show their cars.

Students at The Learning Tree have made trophies with refurbished car parts to present to the winning cars. Awards include Kid’s Choice, Best Overall Car, Presenter’s Choice, Best Car Under Construction, Mayor’s Choice and awards for the best car from each decade since the 1930s.

The event will also feature various food and product vendors, and auto-part, swap-meet vendors.

Brown has plans to invite musicians and provide fun for all ages, especially the children.

Brown often hosts other fundraisers, but Autos for Autism is a different venture because she wanted to try something new.

All families, including local families with special needs, are encouraged to attend, to see what is available to them in Calhoun and surrounding counties.

Brown said she hopes to spread the word and make sure that every family living with autism can find help through a Learning Tree program. If not, she said the staff would do their best to find someone who can help.

For more information, visit or call 256-490-1648.

Sherry Kughn is a local freelance writer. Contact her at