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Kimmie Fine Talks Autism Awareness, Motherhood and 80's Bash

The Jacob's Touch Foundation's 80s bash spring fundraiser is tonight, Friday April 13 at 7:30pm

Tonight those who love the 80s can have some fun and show their support for Autism Awareness. The Jacob's Touch Foundation 80s Bash will begin at 7:30pm at Tampa Yacht and Country Club.

Patch recently caught up with the foundation founder Kimmie Fine, whose son Jacob (the namesake of the organization) was diagnosed with Autism when he was two years old.

Patch: So many people families facing a diagnosis of autism feel overwhelmed. How did you find the energy and desire to create a nonprofit?

Fine: I have always been very involved in volunteering and my mother instilled this important value in us at a very early age.  I was extremely overwhelmed when I first knew that my son was autistic, but I wanted the best for him.  Looking around I realized there wasn’t a lot of help and/or services out there for him but I researched and fought for the best for him and that's how I got to today. I want the absolute best in life for my child and all the other children struggling on the autistic spectrum. 

Patch: How old was Jacob when he was diagnosed as autistic? What made you seek help?

 Fine: Jacob was 2 when he was diagnosed in March of 2006. After he turned one, he was not meeting most of his milestones so we started to seek help when he was about 1 1/2 years old.  We went to a neurologist, and then through the USF Early Intervention Program and finally found Dr. Eric Tridas who diagnosed Jake.

Patch: Is it hard to find help when you have a child who is autistic?

Fine: A few years ago services and providers were few and far between.  As awareness has grown so have providers for various services. We still have a long way to go in this county and surrounding counties. There should be more services, medical practitioners and educational services as the numbers have grown to now 1 in 88 kids diagnosed on the spectrum. That’s why part of our mission is to provide referral services. 

Patch: Who does your nonprofit donate to; individuals or groups?

Fine: Our foundation will be giving grants to deserving families of children on the spectrum in the Bay area.  Our application will be ready to send out to interested and qualified families in May and we hope to start giving grants this summer! The family will apply for a specific purpose like ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy and we will give the grant directly to the chosen center in the child’s name.  So really both families and groups/centers/medical practitioners will benefit.

Patch: Tell us a little about the upcoming 80's Bash fundraiser.

Fine: This is our largest fundraising event of the year.  We are going to hold our annual fundraiser every year in April because it is National Autism Awareness month. This event was the brainchild of my incredible Board Members.  Since most of us on the Board are kids of the ‘80s we wanted to have a huge ‘80s dress up party with a live cover band. I connected a few months ago with an old friend that started Rubix Cubed. We will also feature great silent and live auction items and it is $55 a ticket. This all includes food, drinks, live band and free valet. The event is at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club which is a beautiful venue. 

Patch: Have I left anything out that you'd like to speak about?

Fine:We hope that we can donate at least $30,000 this year (which is our goal) to deserving families in Tampa Bay area. 

Want to go to the Jacob's Touch 80's Bash:

Go to www.jacobstouch.org/spring-event to purchase tickets or make a donation.  You can also pay $60 at the door the evening of the event.

When: Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tampa Yacht and Country Club, 5320 Interbay Blvd. in Tampa.

Sherri Lonon April 14, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Anyone out there have photos of the bash? We'd love to run them.
Kimmie Fine April 14, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Yes!! There are a bunch on Facebook and we had two photographers there. I have the link for the first one..... http://blivelyimages.zenfolio.com/jacobstouch
Sherri Lonon April 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Thanks so much, Kimmie! If the photographers would like, they can upload their shots right to this story, or email Nicole or myself and we'll put together a package of their images.
Kimmie Fine April 14, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Sherri I sent him an email to send over picture to you :-) Waiting on pictures from the second photographer.
Sherri Lonon April 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Thanks, Kimmie! Hope you guys had a great night and raised lots of money for the cause!

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