BMTN Gives Back: The PACER Center benefit, with Crosby, Stills & Nash


The PACER Center was founded in 1977 with a single project, Parents Helping Parents.

The goal at the time is, essentially, what it is now nearly 40 years later: Help families who have children with disabilities give their kids more opportunities, bettering their quality of life, while also serving as a resource and support center for the parents and family members.

To do that, the nonprofit offers free workshops and informational resources, and also serves as an advocate.

PACER is staffed primarily by parents of children with disabilities.

There are about 6.7 million children with special needs in the United States. More than 200,000 of those are in Minnesota.

Sam's story

One of those kids was Sam Graves.

Sam has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects motor function – muscle control and coordination posture and balance, or even fine motor skills such as holding a fork, or swallowing, says.

Currently, it affects an estimated 500,000 children under age of 18.

Sam was 3 years old when he first went to a PACER center in Bloomington. Since then, the program has provided Sam with different technology (such as an iPad and voice recorder) to help him excel.

Now, years later as an adult, he's in college, handling a part-time job, and writing a sports blog.

“For a kid like Sam, technology has really leveled the playing field,” his mother Kathy Graves said. “The iPad, for example, and PACER has made such a huge difference in his life.”

Saturday benefit with Crosby, Stills & Nash

The organization does not charge parents for workshops, which are spread across 30 different projects (including the Simon Technology Center, which helped Sam, Bullying Prevention, and Parents Helping Parents).

Each year, the PACER Center holds a benefit to help raise money to support those programs.

This year's benefit – slated for Saturday, May 2 – features a performance by legendary trio Crosby, Stills & Nash.

It'll be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, with a silent auction starting at 6 p.m., a live auction and performance at 8 p.m., and after party once that's wrapped.

Proceeds support the programs, workshops, and individual assistance PACER provides to families of children and young adults with disabilities.

Tickets can be purchased until Friday afternoon (by 1 p.m. online, or 5 p.m. on the phone). Click here to see all the details.

Next Up

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.


McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."