Friends raise funds for GTAC

Mia Wilson with her brother, Noah, at her booth during the Prairie Arts Festival. Wilson sold candy in order to raise money for the Golden Triangle Autism Center in West Point.
Staff Writer

Mia Wilson and her friend Macey Busby were playing together and discussing what they could do to raise money for autism awareness and research.

The pair talked about having a booth selling slime at the Prairie Arts Festival. The friends each decided to have their own booth, with Busby selling slime and Wilson selling candy. The two girls were successful and will each present the Golden Triangle Autism Center with a check Friday, Oct. 12.

"Mia's brother Noah, is autistic," Michelle Wilson, Mia's mother, said. "So the Golden Triangle Autism Center is where she wanted to donate money that she raised."

Wilson said her daughter started with a lemonade stand on Lemonade Day in Starkville. Lemonade Day is a program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business - a lemonade stand.

"They encourage the kids who participate to save some, keep a little, spend a little and donate some of what they make," Wilson said. "Her goal was $30 and she made $300. She kept very little for herself, and that was the start of her fundraising for the Autism Center."

She raised more money with Mia's Sweet Shop at the Prairie Arts Festival.

Wilson was appreciative of the people who bought candy from her daughter.

"Everyone was so kind and generous," Wilson said. "She had a sign on her booth 'Autism Speaks Through Me, I am My Brother's Voice.’ She is very dedicated to wanting to help."

Wilson said they love the GTAC. Her son Noah attends the center. When they first moved here from Ohio, Noah did not speak. After working with a therapist at GTAC, he is now talking.

"They work with the whole family," Wilson said. "It's a big job to teach parents what they need to know about having a child with autism."

Melanie Busby, Macey's mother, said it was a great experience for her.

"Macey has had a lemonade stand for St. Jude before," Busby said. "The girls are such good friends and Macey was excited with the idea of getting to make slime to sell. She's looking forward to giving a check to the Autism Center."