MONDAY, SEPT. 13: Kingdom Entertainment Group and Oxford Communications, the producers of the 2010 Bermuda Music Festival, have partnered with Bermuda Autism Support & Education (B.A.S.E.) in a two-pronged effort to help raise autism awareness in Bermuda.

The first tier of their participation consists of a donation of $5 per ticket sold to this community-based, non-profit organisation. The minimum donation made by Kingdom Entertainment Group and Oxford Communications will be $10,000.

In addition, the second tier consists of signing six-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Toni Braxton, who is a national spokesperson for a leading American autism group. Kingdom Entertainment and Oxford Communications are not only excited to have signed a performer of Ms. Braxton’s stature for this year’s Festival, they are also thrilled that Ms. Braxton has made a commitment to partner with B.A.S.E.

Ms. Braxton’s seven-year-old son Diezel was diagnosed with autism at age two and a half. Ms. Braxton will promote autism awareness during her October 2 performance at the Bermuda Music Festival.

Members of the audience will each receive a special autism awareness bracelet and Ms. Braxton will be supported on stage by Bermudian prodigy Malcolm Hollis. The 10-year-old singer, who has autism, wowed last year’s Festival crowd with his version of the Jackson Five's “I Want You Back”. He also performed before legendary producer Quincy Jones and other stars at last October’s premiere of the late Michael Jackson's movie “This Is It” at the Liberty Theatre.

Ms Braxton, who has sold more than 40 million albums, said: “I am delighted to use this opportunity to raise awareness of autism. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States and I know from personal experience with my son Diezel the life-long consequences for individuals, family, and society.

“In Bermuda more children every year are being diagnosed with autism and I look forward to meeting members of the autism community during my visit.

“All of us – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and family friends to children – must become familiar with the red flags for autism. The earlier children are diagnosed and early intervention begins, the better chance a child has of a brighter future.”

Jenny Purvey, president of BASE, said: “We are delighted at the generous support offered by Kingdom Entertainment Group and Oxford Communications and we are absolutely thrilled that Toni Braxton has offered to help raise awareness of autism during her visit to Bermuda. As a national spokesperson for Autism Speaks, Ms. Braxton has been a committed and effective advocate in raising awareness and urging parents to learn the early warning signs of this developmental disorder, now diagnosed in one in every 110 children.

“We encourage everybody in Bermuda to come out and not only enjoy a fantastic performance by a true superstar but help give back to our community. Funds received by BASE will go directly to assisting the autistic community in Bermuda.”

Tickets for Toni Braxton’s concert at the Poinciana Ballroom at the Fairmont Southampton are $140 for reserved seating and $95 per person for general admission. The three-day general admission is $245. 

Tickets are available online from www.bdatix.com or from the iStore, 46 Reid Street, Hamilton; All Wrapped Up HOME, Washington Mall, Hamilton; and Fabulous Fashions, Heron Bay Plaza, Southampton.

Toni Braxton’s public service announcement for Autism Speaks can be seen on YouTube at http://bit.ly/8pVMw8 (or search for Toni Braxton autism).