A pair of fundraising events next week will help benefit a local nonprofit which helps advocate for the special needs community.

The Arc of Livingston provides support to families with children in need of special education services. One of the organization’s best known clients is Larry Prout Jr. of Marion Township (left), who last fall was made an honorary members of the University of Michigan football team. Larry Jr. has undergone more than 90 surgeries after being born with multiple chronic illnesses and says the advocates Arc has provided to him have made a real difference for him as a student. "They help me get into better classrooms and get me classroom assistance."

His father, Larry Sr.(right), tells WHMI that Arc advocates help people successfully navigate what can be a complicated maze of bureaucracy. "That's so important in this county; having somebody advocating for people with special needs...If you're not familiar with special education, you have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting with teachers and advocates and principals and find out the best course of action, the best plan, for that individual to learn. They're instrumental to that."

The two fundraisers that will help fund that advocacy include a pop-up Bistro Saladpalooza at Brighton High School with The Great Foodini, Renee Chodkowski. That will be held Tuesday August 15th from noon to 1pm. Then on Friday the 18th, the Bowl for the Arc of Livingston will take place from 6-9pm at the Howell Bowl-e-Drome in which Larry Jr. will be using his custom-made eyeball bowling ball. You’ll find details for both through the link below. (JK)