Jared Barnes


Statement from Jared Barnes:

“We regret to inform you that the venue for EagleCon has canceled all activities at the church’s facilities, including EagleCon, due to COVID-19. Due to this development, we will have to postpone EagleCon. Over the next few days, we will be evaluating our options, including setting a new date, finding a new venue, and exploring the possibility of taking EagleCon online, either in part or in whole.

“While this decision was beyond our control, we apologize to all those volunteering at and planning to attend EagleCon. We are likewise disappointed that, despite expending considerable effort to comply with and go beyond federal and state guidelines on COVID-19, EagleCon has again been postponed due to the pandemic.

“Please bear with us as we consult with our partners and make decisions on the future of EagleCon 2020 in the coming days.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

Original story:

Fort Mill teen Jared Barnes is working with the S.C. Autism Society to launch a Saturday event to bring awareness to autism with game convention elements.

   EagleCon is set for 1-8 p.m. Saturday (July 18) at a St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Fort Mill, with face coverings required. It is described as a socially-distanced autism awareness day with game convention elements.

   EagleCon will combine informational panels on autism and related topics and informational booths with board, card, and roleplaying games, a press release says.

   The exciting event also serves as Jared Barnes’ Eagle Scout project. Jared was identified with autism in 2014 and has faced the challenges many children on the autism spectrum encounter. Despite these, he graduated a year early with honors and will be attending Winthrop University this fall.

   “Jared believes that he can make a difference in the world through EagleCon,” a press release says. “EagleCon is focused on helping families and children learn more about autism and how to embrace their uniqueness to be successful independent adults.

   By partnering with the state’s Autism Society, the teen has planned a day of activities allowing parents and children to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

   There will be:

   • Q&A panels featuring representatives of the SCAS and other interested parties from the area

   • Informational booths

   • Gaming activities such as Dungeons & Dragons

  • A board game library

   • Raffles and door prizes of items provided by sponsors.

(Story continues below after event flyer)

   The South Carolina Autism Society began in the early 1970’s as a group of dedicated parents of children with autism came together for fellowship.  They realized how little was known about autism and recognized that children with autism have their own special needs.  Services were nonexistent or inappropriate.  The parents stood together as a unified voice and worked diligently to improve life for individuals with autism and their families in our state.  Their grass roots efforts would come to be known as the South Carolina Autism Society.  The organization was chartered by the State of South Carolina in 1972 and received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service in 1974.

   SCAS is the only state-wide organization advocating for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families.  The South Carolina Autism Society provides assistance, education, services, and resources to improve the lives of individuals affected by autism.  Every dollar that we raise stays in South Carolina to ensure that the nearly 70,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorder living in South Carolina have opportunities to achieve a quality of life comparable to their peers.

  EagleCon’s sponsors and donors also include Your Local Game Store, Publix, Wizards of the Coast, R. Talsorian Games, Sly Flourish, and Beadle & Grim.

   For further information about EagleCon, please go online to eagle-con.org.

   Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus, attendees will be required to wear a mask and to keep appropriate social distance.

Greg Rickabaugh

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...