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Rocking for a cause: Raising funds, awareness for autism

Developmental Disabilities Institute is hosting a benefit for

Developmental Disabilities Institute is hosting a benefit for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities at Mulcahy's Pub and Music Hall in Wantagh on Feb. 17. Credit: Handout

Local musicians will band together on Feb. 17 to rock and roll and raise funds for Smithtown-based Developmental Disabilities Institute, which serves children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

For a $30 donation, guests at DDI’s sixth annual Rockin’ for Autism can enjoy music featuring bands such as Soul Dr. G’s All Star Veteran Band, The Cold Spring Harbor Band, 1 Step Ahead and Just Cause at Mulcahy’s Pub and Music Hall in Wantagh.

Jim Cronin, whose children Sean, 15, and Sheila, 13,  both of whom are autistic, founded the benefit six years ago. He said, “the children and adults serviced by DDI need our assistance more than ever due to budgetary limitations” and cuts in federal and state funding.

“These wonderful children who cannot fundraise for themselves need the community to come together and support the many programs and services offered by DDI.”

Cronin is expecting more than 700 at the concert.

“My motto is ‘Help those who cannot help themselves,’ and I’m asking that families that have been blessed with healthy children, grandchildren and who cannot attend our event on Feb. 17 make a donation in honor of their healthy children to support those who need our assistance,” Cronin said.

Julie Grilli, media spokesman for DDI, said the organization raised nearly $30,000 at the concert last year. “The money raised will directly go to help support the programs that DDI runs each day,” Grilli said.

According to its website, DDI, a nonprofit agency, serves more than 1,500 children and adults with autism and related disorders, providing educational, residential, day habilitation, vocational and other services.

For event info or advanced ticket donations, call 631-366-2978 or visit Concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Mulcahy's, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh, 516-785-9398. There will be raffles, food, cash bar and more.
Advanced ticket sales are available by calling 631-366-2978 or online at

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