The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

September 12, 2013

2-day music/fun festival to benefit autism victim

By Karen Middleton

— A full night and a day of fun and live musical acts will make Athens the place to be this weekend.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Ethan Haney’s Pulling Team for Autism. Activities begin today at 5:30 p.m. at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena off Alabama 99 and Elm Street. Gates open at 4.

There will be concessions: adult-supervised horse riding provided by Jim Swanner and live music performed by local artists. The musical lineup for tonight includes: Big D Daniel Jones, 5:30; Trippin’ Dixie Band with Mike Sowell, Calvin Covington and Mike Johnson, 7; David Harvey Band, 8:30, and Spiral Down South with Corey Sowell at 9:30.

On Saturday, the entertainment lineup starts at 10 a.m. with children’s fun and games and a silent auction for adults. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. musical acts will include Big D Daniel Jones; Matt Prater, John Musa, Price Mitchell, Highway 99, Trey Morgan and maybe even more.

At 2:30 p.m., grab some food and make your way to the Bama tent and pull up a chair or hay bale to watch Alabama football.

Admission both days is $5 per person with children under 12 admitted free.

Ethan Haney, son of David and Debbie Haney, was diagnosed with autism, according to friends. He has lived an anti-social existence for all of his 21 years, often depressed and anxiety-ridden.

Now, as a young man Ethan remains unable to live alone or function productively. He has qualified for new FDA-approved TMS treatments. TMS uses magnetic stimulation on the brain’s neurons that is meant to encourage the brain to work more productively at its highest capability.

Unfortunately, the series of treatments, which will cost upwards of $10,000, are not covered by Medicare.

Ethan’s father, David Haney, has been battling cancer since 2007 and is now in the ICU at Athens-Limestone Hospital. Because of his cancer, Haney has not been able to work and has lost his custom cabinet business.

Ethan’s mother, Debbie Haney, has not been able to work because she must care for Ethan and this has caused a financial hardship for the family.

According to a group of friends who are sponsoring the two-day musical benefit, doctors are finding the success rate of TMS treatments promising. The treatment will soon be used to help other patients afflicted with brain disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Saturday’s activities at the Rodeo Arena will include an information booth manned by Dr. Charles Hayden of Huntsville, who will explain how TMS treatment works and answer questions about autism.

For more information, call Ann Haney at 256-874-3689.

Monetary donations, cards and well wishes may be mailed c/o Ann Haney, 2131 S. Lindsay Lane, Athens, AL 35613.

Anonymous donations may also be made at any Bank Independent location or mailed to: Bank Independent (Ethan Haney Trust Fund), P.O. Box 5000 Sheffield, AL 35660.