Hundreds support Rock Around the Dock for Autism

Hundreds gathered to support the battle against autism at the third annual Rock Around the Dock for Autism.

The event, presented by Regal Entertainment and hosted by The Shrimp Dock at its Bearden location on Friday, April 29, benefited Autism Society of East Tennessee.

It featured a Cajun shrimp and crawfish boil, complimentary beverages, a performance by the musical group Tall Paul and a silent auction.

“I love it,” Jana Burn, Knox-ville resident, said. “It’s fun and this is a great cause. We were blessed with the weather.”

Rick Friel of Knoxville said he was invited to the event.

“It’s a very nice event, very good food and auction,” he said.

“It feels really good to see people coming out to support the Autism Society of East Tennessee,” Veronica Cordell, executive director of Autism Society of Knoxville, said.

“We had wonderful weather. The silent auction was a really big hit.

“We had people lining up to get bids in,” Cordell said.

She estimated about 225 attended, and between $15,000 and $25,000 was raised. Proceeds from the silent auction had not been tabulated at of press time. Last year, the event raised $14,000 for the society.

“We had a lot of people come out,” she said. While many were parents of children with autism, she said she had seen many others in the community participate as well.

“I knew Paul [Bobal] was playing here, I like shrimp and it’s a good cause,” Jay Wilson, an attendee, said.

Phil Dangel, who owns The Shrimp Dock with his wife, Becky, said he was very happy with this year’s event.

“In a year, it’s grown from a sponsorship point of view and a people point of view,” Dangel said. “We raised a lot of money for a good cause.

“How wonderful it is that Regal Entertainment has been there from the beginning, and Clayton has joined up this year.

“I’m glad to have them. Saw Works Brewing Company has been a great partner, and [Tall] Paul has been here every year,” he said.

For Dangel, the cause hits close to home.

“My grandson has a mild case of autism,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about it.”

“I think it’s fantastic,” Kandy Burney, executive director of Autism Society of East Tennessee, said about the event. “It’s a great event for the community to come together and support the cause.”

Farragut resident Scott Pearson, whose wife chairs the event, said he came to support her and the cause while Sue Moring of Knoxville said she attended Rock Around the Dock for Autism because her son has autism and to support the cause.

Caroline Benedetti, a Bearden resident, said she did not know about the event until after she arrived at The Shrimp Dock on April 28.

“I come [to The Shrimp Dock] quite a lot,” she said. “I think [the event] is wonderful. I bought two things at the auction and ate.

“They did a great job. The owners and staff are good people, very conscientious.”

Steve and Lauren Bagodonus, Pittsburgh, Penn., residents who were visiting the area said they were happy attending the event.

“It’s very well-run, the food was great, the staff was wonderful and it was for a very good cause,” Steve said.