By Anna-Marie Menhenott
TREASURE COAST -- When Mozart Sobrinho was asked to sing a song at a community event for Autism awareness in 2013, he stepped up.
With only a few short hours to prepare, Mozart, who at the time was a sophomore at Port St. Lucie High School, not only prepared to sing a song in front of a large crowd, he wrote it and composed the music to accompany it.
"He didn't have much time to prepare," said Jessica McLaughlin, a teacher at Westgate K-8 and organizer of the Community Walk for Autism.
"When Autism Speaks pulled out of organizing the Treasure Coast walk and Westgate took over so it could continue in our area, I asked Mozart to compose a song for us. We needed some quality, but free entertainment and he was willing to help."
Mozart was given some key words to inspire him such as the butterfly, puzzle pieces and cure. After Mozart wrote the song, he paid for his own studio time to record it.
"The first time I listened to 'Stay with You,' I thought that it was possibly the most beautiful song written about autism ever," said Mrs. McLaughlin, whose daughter has Autism. "I thought that other people needed to hear it. I wanted everyone I knew to listen to it. My husband and I created a commercial that had the song featured as the background music and it has over 450 views on YouTube. It was played on the Education Channel and even posted on the St. Lucie County School District's website. With that kind of reaction, Mozart offered to put the song on iTunes and give a portion of the proceeds to children with autism in St. Lucie County."
'That's the cool thing about it," Mozart said. "When people buy it on iTunes, almost all of the money comes back into the county to help children with Autism."
Mrs. McLaughlin spearheaded this year's Autism Walks event, which had more than 600 participants. She hopes next year's event, which is already scheduled for April 11, 2015, will be even bigger.
"There are lots of events that bring awareness and hopes of a cure for Autism," she said. "With the amazing help from the community, all of the organizations that offer support and assistance to the families and people like Mozart, we're well on our way to a cure."
Mozart would like to study music when finished with high school and is currently teaching music to younger students.
"He is an extraordinary young man with a kind and gracious heart. His commitment to bringing awareness, acceptance and love to autism gives my heart hope," said Mrs. McLaughlin. "To think that knowing me and my child could have possibly inspired such beauty is amazing."
On Thursday, July 10, the Jensen Beach and Stuart locations of Mulligans will donate a percentage of each meal to Westgate K-8 school. The event lasts from 5-8 p.m. Mozart and Mrs. McLaughlin will be at the Jensen Beach location.
To listen to 'Stay with you,' visit www.reverbnation.com/mozartsobrinho.com