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Flame the Band to Perform at Century Center to celebrate Disability Awareness Month

Jordan Gamble | Wednesday, March 17, 2010

South Bend’s Logan Center will host its second big event for Disability Awareness Month Thursday with a free concert by the band FLAME at 7 p.m. in the Century Center downtown.
FLAME, a cover band that has released three CDs and plays about 90 shows a year, is made up of 11 musicians with physical and developmental disabilities. The group originated in upstate New York in 2003 as a recreation program at a center for people with disabilities, and the band now tours internationally. It performs from a catalogue that includes over 100 classic rock, country and blues songs.
The concert follows “Spread the Word to End the Word” Day on March 3, a national campaign that asked people to pledge to stop using the R-word.
Nichole Maguire is the volunteer coordinator at the Logan Center, which this year celebrates 60 years of providing resources and recreation for people with disabilities.
“I think this is going to impact our community quite a bit especially following ‘Spread the Word to End the Word,'” Maguire said.
“I think we felt some momentum for Disability Awareness Month. [The concert] will highlight how amazing people with disabilities are,” Maguire said. “I really like the aspect of bringing the community and Notre Dame into awareness about disabilities.”
Many students already work closely with the Logan Center. Senior Maeve Raphelson is president of Super Sibs, one of the clubs the Logan Center sponsored. Super Sibs is a mentor program that pairs up Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students with South Bend-area youth who have siblings with disabilities. Raphelson herself has a sibling with autism, and she said she hopes the concert can show another side of disability awareness.
“I think it’s really great to see adults with disabilities doing something that they enjoy and that are successful at,” Raphelson said.
“My little brother’s autistic, and he really wants to be an author … It gives me hope for my little brother’s future.”
While many Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students participate in the Logan Center’s programs now, Raphelson and Maguire said they hope the concert will call more attention to the Center’s activities.
“This is really the main event for Disability Awareness Month. ‘Spread the Word’ was mainly an on-campus thing,” Raphelson said. “This is a way to bring the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community and the South Bend community together. It’s a way for people to learn about disabilities and that they’re not as debilitating and life-ending as people think they are.
“If there’s a good showing from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s to show the community that we really care. I hope everyone bring a friend and people that haven’t been involved before can start getting involved. You can learn so much from people with disabilities. It’s a really important part of human diversity.”
Doors at the Century Center open at 6:30 for the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are free, and the first 100 students in attendance will receive free t-shirts.