Eigth grader raises thousands of dollars for Autism

By WEEK Producer

February 23, 2014 Updated Feb 23, 2014 at 11:50 PM CDT

MORTON, Ill. -- In order to graduate from eighth grade at Bethel Lutheran School in Morton, students must complete a Making a Difference Project.

The project focuses on helping others through fundraising or community work.

Eighth Grader Brian Himmel hosted an Autism Speaks Benefit and Concert for his project.

Nearly 200 people were at the benefit for a raffle, silent auction, and music.

Brian said he has a very special reason for giving back to autism--his cousin has autism.

"It's just something that people need to think more about because the numbers are huge. Three million people in our country have autism. It's just a great cause to help," said Brian Himmel, organized Autism fundraiser.

Brian's goal was to reach $5000.

All proceeds will go to Autism Speaks in Illinois.