Fourth Annual “Mardi Gras for Autism” Expects 2,000 Attendees to Raise Funds and Awareness for Autism – Feb. 9

Fullerton, CA, January 21, 2013 --( To support autism charities and special education, 2,000 people are anticipated to attend the Bourbon Street 4th annual benefit ‘Mardi Gras for Autism’ featuring The Aquarium of the Pacific’s “Aquarium on Wheels,” Fullerton Union High School’s Circus Club, MMA demonstrations by BullyFight, and more to be held at Bourbon Street Bar and Grill and outside in the adjacent Fullerton Train Depot parking lot located at 110 E. Commonwealth Ave. in Fullerton on Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 10am-4:30pm.

Says Larry Houser, the co-owner of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill and founder of Fullerton Cares, “The way we’ve designed Mardi Gras for Autism, families can come out and enjoy a good time together, whether they have children on the spectrum or not.” Houser became involved with autism after his son Boyd, now age 4, was diagnosed with autism at age two.

The family-friendly free event is designed to encourage families to enjoy the fun of Mardi Gras while raising money for Fullerton special education programs and will feature many activities appropriate for children of all ages and abilities, including:

· Aquarium of the Pacific -- Joining Mardi Gras for Autism for the first time is the Aquarium of the Pacific and their “Aquarium on Wheels.” Some of the creatures that can be seen include sea stars, sea cucumbers, anemones, and sharks.

· Medieval Times -- Buena Park’s own Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament will join Mardi Gras for Autism for a second year to bring out some Knights and Kings, some freebies for the kids, and the Knights will be doing a mini-show.

· MMA Demonstrations by -- a national fitness outreach program for kids, partnering with gyms across the country and supporting physical fitness, will offer MMA demonstrations for attendees.

· Custom Hats by "Artists Against Bullying" -- The local tattoo community will volunteer time to create custom artwork on trucker-style hats donated by Liberty Board Shop. Participating tattoo shops will include Beyond Kreations, All Hallow's Ink, Action Tattoo, Good Fellas Tattoo and Platinum Ink.

· Face Painting by Gymboree -- In addition to handing out Gymboree play items and blowing bubbles, Gymboree will provide two face painters who are volunteering their time for the cause.

· Swipe4theKids -- Bourbon Street exclusively uses S4TK to process their credit cards, and the funds are given to Fullerton Cares in order to further autism programs throughout Fullerton.

· Autism Speaks U-CSUF -- The Cal State Fullerton chapter of Autism Speaks U is designed for college students to promote awareness and advocacy and raise funds for Autism Speaks.

· Information Booth by Talk About Curing Autism --TACA will be on hand at Mardi Gras for Autism to offer an information booth and answer questions that visitors may have about autism.

· A.Skate -- A.skate Foundation encourages the social interaction of children with autism through skateboarding. A.skate will be conducting skate demos throughout the Mardi Gras for Autism event.

· The Complete Package --The Complete Package is the official printing partner of Mardi Gras for Autism and was created to give the daughter of the owner, who has autism, an opportunity to work, be productive, and give her a sense of purpose.

· The Dixiedelics -- A fixture in the Downtown Fullerton music scene, the Dixiedelics are the featured musical guest of Mardi Gras for Autism.

· DMA Insurance -- The title sponsor for Fullerton Cares’ annual charity golf tournament, DMA Insurance Services, Inc. is a full service insurance agency with three branches located in Southern California.

· Miss Fullerton Scholarship Program -- A 100% volunteer, not-for-profit organization, the Miss Fullerton Scholarship Program prides itself on representing the Fullerton community with service, style, scholarship, and success.

· CF Dance Academy -- Returning for their fourth year with Mardi Gras for Autism, CF Dance Academy has been a fixture in Orange County for 28 years.

· Fullerton Union High School Circus Club -- Joining Mardi Gras for Autism for the fourth consecutive year, the FUHS Circus Club provides the perfect entertainment for the evening.

· ONEHOPE Winery -- ONEHOPE Wine donates half of its profits donated to benefit a variety of causes, and is pleased to support the fight against autism.

· Bourbon Street -- Pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the fourth annual Mardi Gras for Autism, Bourbon Street has a close tie with not only the City of Fullerton, but also those directly affected by autism.

· Chef Cody Storts -- Chef Cody Storts is returning for his second year with Mardi Gras for Autism. With past endeavors including many creations with The Lime Truck and Bourbon Streets California Cajun cuisine, Storts will be serving up Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Cajun Dogs, Chicken Gumbo, and Biegnets on behalf of Bourbon Street.

· Heroes Bar & Grill -- A proud supporter of Mardi Gras for Autism, Heroes will be serving hot dogs and chips for the kids.

· The Olde Ship British Pub -- Serving up British pancakes as part of the traditional way to honor the British holiday of “Shrove” or “Pancake Tuesday,” as the day before lent is known in the United Kingdom.

· Fullerton Cares -- Founded in order to raise money, awareness, and acceptance of students with Autism within the Fullerton community, Fullerton Cares works tirelessly to promote and fund programs for students with autism within the Fullerton School District.

About Mardi Gras for Autism: As the co-owner of Bourbon Street Bar & Grill in Fullerton, Larry Houser generously uses his local business as a platform for autism events and fundraisers, including their annual Mardi Gras for Autism festival, of which proceeds benefit the Fullerton School District’s autism programs. In 2011, the event raised over $5,000. A video of last year’s event is at the following link:

About Fullerton Cares: Awareness, acceptance and fundraising are the pillars of Fullerton Cares, which spreads the message of autism throughout North OC and was founded by Lawrence Houser, 36, father to Boyd Houser, 4, who was diagnosed with autism at age two. Raising funds for autism charities and autism programs in Fullerton schools through organizing comedy nights, golf tournaments, and Mardi Gras fundraisers, Fullerton Cares was founded in 2009 and has since raised over $25,000 to support autism initiatives.

About Bourbon Street: Established in 2007, Bourbon Street offers California Cajun cuisine in the heart of historic downtown Fullerton with a menu made entirely from scratch featuring farm fresh, locally sourced ingredients. In addition to a world-class selection of slow-aged bourbons and whiskies, Bourbon Street features a wide array of bottled and draught beer, as well as a comprehensive wine list. Bourbon Street is located at 110 E. Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832 with 800 adjacent parking stalls. Reservations can be made at 714.626.0050.

About Autism: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism now affects about 1 in every 88 American children, including 1 in 54 boys. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges.
Bourbon Street
Jess Block, Publicist