The bond between a father and his son is unlike anything else.
And although their sons are in two very different stages of their lives, it was a common understanding of that bond that brought Mike Grant and Tom Carroll together.
Grant is one of the founders of the Richboro-based Autism Cares Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to help those with autism and their families with the daily struggles that accompany the disease. His son, Dylan, has autism.
Carroll is one of the founders of Crossing Vineyards, which has partnered with the nonprofit organization to help spread awareness and raise money for the cause. His son, Tom Jr., is the president of Crossing Vineyards.
The partnership between the pair came about last year, after Grant was in touch with Carroll to see if the winery would donate auction items for the organization’s annual gala. Well, the winery did, and they continue to do much more to support the cause.
Grant said he feels strongly about the Autism Cares Foundation because he wants to be sure his son has tools and resources available to him to ensure a fulfilling, meaningful life.
“It’s all about creating an environment where your children are going to thrive,” Grant said.
Carroll said he can relate to that. It was his son’s dream to start a winery. It was that dream that led the family to open Crossing Vineyards in 2000.
“That father son bond is a very strong bond,” Carroll said.
While Carroll has no history of autism in his family, he said the winery values supporting local causes and this is one they feel strongly about. “I think a lot of people are touched by autism in some way or another,” he said.
Plus, Carroll is inspired by Grant’s enthusiasm and passion for the cause.
“He reminded me of me because I believe so much in what we’ve done at Crossing Vineyards,” Carroll recalled of the first conversation he had with Grant. “When someone is so passionate about something and so in love with what they do, it’s easy to go along with it.”
The long-term goal of the foundation is to raise enough money to open an Autism Resource Center, which would provide information and resources for both children with autism and their parents.
On Sunday, Aug. 21, the winery will partner with the organization to host a special music event that will feature wine and jazz.
The evening will feature music by the Upper Princeton Swing Collective. Tickets for the event are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. For every ticket purchased, $10 goes directly to the Autism Cares Foundation.
Tickets for the event can be purchased on Crossing Vineyards’ website.
Plus, for each case of wine purchased, $36 will go to the foundation. The wine purchased at the event will have special Austim Cares Foundation labels, Grant explained.
Kids can come, plus you can pack a picnic to enjoy during the music. No outside beverages are permitted. Of course, wine will be available for purchase and water and soft drinks will be available.
There are other events planned to the help the organization reach its goal. On Nov. 12, the organization will host the Race for Resources. Grant is the race director.
Crossing Vineyards will participate in that event, too. They will host a post-race thank you reception for top fundraisers.
“We’re looking at making this our champion cause,” Carroll said.
And Grant certainly appreciates the winery’s effort and participation. “It just fell into place. When something is meant to be it just kind of unfolds,” he said.
For more information about the Autism Cares Foundation and the upcoming Race for Resources, visit www.autismcaresfoundation.org.