On the Scene: Spring into fundraiser to fight autism

otaylor@thestate.com May 4, 2012 

  • If you go Sprummer When: 7 p.m. Saturday Where: Carolina Walk, 900 S. Stadium Road Tickets: $125 Information: winstonswishfoundation.com Party Edstravaganza Sprummer, Saturday night’s event at Carolina Walk, and EdStravaGanza, the Saturday evening party at EdVenture Children’s Museum, will present a problem for those going to either — or both, like On the Scene: What do you wear? This is the time of year when engagement parties, weddings and other parties start dotting the calendar. Fashion has so many rules that are meant to be broken, but how do you know when to break them? We talked to frequent On the Scene contributor and friend Anne Postic, also known as The Shop Tart, and asked her to share her thoughts. The dress code for each event is similar, she said. “At both Sprummer and EdStravaGanza, guests will be entertained by great bands, so you want to be able to move,” she said. “Guys will feel comfortable in that Southern classic: khakis and a cotton or linen button-down shirt. A polo style shirt works, too, but the button-down is a little more festive. Look for a pastel checkered version to keep it fun.” Postic also suggested a short suit, but that’s for the style conscious guy who has an abundance of swagger. But no amount of swagger will allow him to pull off a T-shirt, especially, as Postic pointed out, if it’s one from the most recent 5K he ran. EdStravaGanza is asking guests to dress “festive casual.” What does that really mean? “Festive casual means dressy casual attire that has a party-ish or glamorous flair,” said EdVenture’s Kristy Barnes. “Festive is not as dressy as semi-formal wear, but it doesn’t mean ordinary casual either. With this, you have many options.” A pantsuit, dressy separates and, of course, a dress. “Dress style options are abundant as many have ruffles and tiers, which are also popular, while others are simple column styles,” Barnes said. “For such a dress, wear a dressy sandal — one that has a heel — with no hosiery. Sleeveless styles are ‘in,’ as are sheer sleeves or sleeves with ruffles or ties at the wrist.” Postic suggested something simple and stylish such as white jeans and a great top. “Bonus points for metallic sandals. Just make sure they’re good for dancing,” she said. “Dressy shorts are a big trend now, and you’ll see ladies in shorts, heels and colorful tops. A silk cami with a brightly colored statement necklace will be perfect. “This is also a great time to pull out your favorite sundress, though you may want to bring a cardigan in case there’s a chill.” It’s supposed to be hot Saturday, so ladies don’t forget to carry something so you can put your hair up. If you forget, On the Scene will have one. It’s part of his look. Cravin’ Melon headlines EdStravaGanza, which begins at 7 p.m. Entertainment also includes Alternacirque and adult playtime in the museum. EdVenture is at 211 Gervais St. $75; (803) 779-3100

SPRUMMER IS HERE: Sprummer is a fundraiser for Winston’s Wish, a nonprofit organization dedicated to treating children with autism. On Saturday night at Carolina Walk, G. Love & Special Sauce will headline this year’s edition.

Winston’s Wish was founded in 2006.

“Our state really lacked any infrastructure at all for children with autism and their families,” said Marcella Ridley, the organization’s co-founder and executive director. “Families here in South Carolina don’t have access to treatment, affordable treatment.”

The foundation is named after Ridley’s 10-year-old son, who is autistic.

“Winston has been very blessed,” Ridley said. “My family is very fortunate in that we have been able to provide treatment to Winston that he has needed. I feel very strongly that all children with autism should have the same opportunities as Winston.”

Ridley’s husband, Stephen, an emergency medicine physician at Palmetto Health, recently received F.D.A. approval on the ultrasound guided probe he developed. They also have a daughter, Ellie, 14.

Winston was diagnosed with autism at 20 months.

“His doctor told me he would never be a contributing member of society,” Ridley said.

Nine years later, he’s in general education classes at Brennen Elementary, on the honor roll and he was elected class historian.

“He struggles with peer communication,” Ridley said. “My point is that he is smart and he is educable. He will graduate from high school, college and hopefully get a job. All of this happened because Winston received early, intensive treatment.”

Winston’s Wish is about restoring hope and help families thrive. The organization believes all children should have access to adequate medical treatment. But it’s complicated with autism, which requires various forms of behavioral therapy.

The money the organization raises funds community outreach and programs like the Education Series that invites autism experts to discuss treatment and other facets of the neural development disorder. The organization is also completing the business plan for the Palmetto Center for Autism project.

Parties, particularly those held in the months when skin-bearing outfits are en vogue, are a good way to raise awareness. G. Love, who performed at the South Carolina State Fair in October, will be joined by The Project and Janie Metts.

Sprummer is slang for the transitional period between spring and summer, and the word became part of Ridley’s vocabulary at an early age. A family she babysit for got together with more than 10 other couples to put together a neighborhood party. It was called Sprummer. Furthermore, the family she was close with had six children, two with special needs.

“It’s kind of a goofy name from my childhood,” she said. “My whole side of town was at this party.”

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