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An evening of music, food

Peace Arch News - 4/5/2017

When it comes to fundraising events, everybody’s looking for the proverbial win-win.

But it doesn’t seem hard to find for music and food fans in this Saturday’s Blues and Bites gala, presented by the Autism Support Network at Semiahmoo Secondary (1785 148 St.) at 6:30 p.m.

For guests, the event will team house-rocking musical entertainment – Maple Blues award-winner Harpdog Brown and his dynamic Travelin’ Blues Show – with a menu presented at Top Chef- style tasting stations, and prepared by leading culinary apprentices under the supervision of chef Peter Bucher.

Biggest winners of all in the second annual event, of course, will be more than 6,000 B.C. families affected by autism spectrum disorder who continue to need the services, education and support that the network provides.

“The rate of diagnosis is one in every 68 children born today,” said ASN director Dione Costanzo, who adds that the 10 year-old, 100 per cent parent and volunteer-run organization is facing an increased demand for its help.

“What happens in B.C. is that once a child has received a diagnosis of autism, the family is given a little government funding – not much – and that’s it.

“They don’t receive any guidance or advice,” she said. “They’re left to navigate and find information and services for themselves.”

The ASN has been effective in helping families – and providing them accurate, fact-based information about autism – she said, but the numbers of those in need, and the requirement for more funding, continue to grow.

“In many ways we’re victims of our own success,” she said.

Tickets for the event – which includes a silent auction, a wine board and mystery balloon prizes – are $125 or $800 for a table of eight.

"That's really a great savings for an evening out for four couples," Costanzo said.

And people shouldn’t be misled by the “bites” in the title, she added – or memories of other fundraisers offering minuscule hors d’oeuvres.

“There’s going to be plenty of food.”

Tickets are available at



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