Monopoly tournament to raise money for local autism camp

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 30, 2013

A fundraiser for a local camp for children with autism will allow local folks a chance to understand the boardgame Monopoly from a national champion, who is autistic.

KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature), allows families with autistic children to know one another while the children experience nature.

“There aren’t many programs in the country serving both the child with autism, as well as the family,” said Dr. Jim Taylor, director of KAMPN.

Taylor said KAMPN, a nonprofit, provides an opportunity for families to interact.

The Monopoly tournament will take place at West Jefferson Coffee House on the Backstreet. The tournament will bring in John Meyer, a two-time Monopoly national championship winner.

“(Meyer) will be supervising,” Taylor said. “He will be the manager and coordinator since he knows all of the rules.”

Meyer, also diagnosed with autism, was featured in the movie “Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story.”

People will buy “chances” in order participate. One chance costs $5 while three will cost $10, and those selected will also receive prizes.

Taylor said that 16 people will be selected to take part in the tournament.

The game will start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. The game will continue for 90 minutes and a championship round will start at 11 a.m.

Meyer is participating free of charge to spread awareness of autism and KAMPN.

“(The tournament) is an effort to build (KAMPN’s) budget so people can continue receiving the services provided by this camp,” Taylor said.

Taylor said his goal is to have families with autistic children be able to attend the camp free of charge.

Tickets for the West Jefferson tournament are available at the West Jefferson Coffee House.

“This is definitely a premiere event in West Jefferson,” Taylor said. “We have Meyer coming down to help out with our summer camp program.”