SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An organization dedicated to helping children with disabilities, held their 19th annual Martin Luther King gospel concert Saturday night in Springfield.
Since 1998, The Brianna Fund has helped 47 children with disabilities, live active lives.
Gospel music filled the air Saturday night, as hundreds of people came together to remember Martin Luther King’s legacy and to help raise money for children with disabilities.
Ronn Johnson, the founder of the Brianna Fund, told 22News, “Dr. King’s legacy was very much about creating hope, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all folks. So, when we think about children with physical disabilities, they’re part of those groups, also, that have historically sometimes been disenfranchised. “
It all started in 1998, when Johnson and his wife, needed to raise money for a wheelchair accessible van for their daughter Brianna. She’s now 26 and thriving.
Not only is this event about raising money for children with disabilities, it’s also about highlighting community service.
Jacqueline Williams-Hines, is an author and mother of an autistic child. She’s been raising awareness about Autism, for more than 20 years.
Jacqueline Williams-Hines said, “There’s still such a vacuum of knowledge, so if I can increase that to help support our families via part of their community, then that’s what I want to keep doing.”
Brianna’s fund has helped 47 children with disabilities. Johnson said, it’s not a handout, it’s a hand up.
This year, West Springfield, teen Conor Mccormick was the latest recipient. 16-year old Mccormick became paralyzed after a diving accident, last summer.
Proceeds from tonight’s event will go towards helping 16-year-old Connor McCormick’s house become handicap accessible.