Document 74922

Ajax’s Matt Brann
and actor Russell
Crowe do their
part for autism
Cinderella man delivers
■ WHILE ON the set of Cinderalla Man Pickering’s
Melissa Kosteski, seen here with Tommy Fiala, asked
star Russell Crowe to donate something to the Autism
Society Ontario — Durham chapter. The next day, he
gave the autism therapist an Everlast boxing glove
signed, ‘I glove you. Russell Crowe, 2004.’ The item is
on the auction block at eBay for charity.
Durham Sun ● July 24 ● 2005
DURHAM news: This Week
■ AJAX’S MATT Brann is an example of a rock star with his priorites in the right order.
10-year-son, Tommy, was
diagnosed with autism seven
years ago. “He’s an awesome
AS AVRIL Lavigne’s
little guy. He’s busy … I’ve
drummer, Matt Brann has
watched his mom with him
been travelling the world on
and it’s a 24/7 job,” says
a tour that’s taken him to
Brann. “The government has
Europe, South Africa and
cut funding for these
Hong Kong. But on a recent
children. I’d love for one of
trip home, catching up with
those politicians to have a
family and friends in Ajax
child with autism and see if
included drumming up
they’d still be so willing to
awareness of autism.
cut funding.”
‘If I can lend any awareness of
parents, it’s a
lifetime job to
support or draw any autism
important, says
children with attention to autism, Fiala. “I can
autism. If I
experience hard
how could I not times with
can lend any
support or
Tommy in
do that.’
draw any
public — he
— Matt Brann
attention to
talks out loud
autism, how could I not do
inappropriately, makes
that?” says the 24-year-old, a
strange sounds and it seems
patron for the Autism
to other people that he’s
Society Ontario-Durham
misbehaving,” she says. “I
wish they understood that he
He displayed the chapter’s
has his own way of reacting
logo on his drums at
to the world around him.
Lavigne’s July 15 concert at
That’s why I’m so happy and
Air Canada Centre in
grateful that young people
Toronto. “Hopefully, it will
like Matt get involved and
draw some attention to
help us with autism
autism and encourage people awareness.”
to find out more,” says
After months of touring,
Brann. He has previously
Brann spent a few days in
donated drumsticks and
Ajax while performing in
other concert memorabilia to and around Toronto. “It’s
raise funds for the
good to be home. I’m gone
almost all the time, so it’s
His lent his name to the
good to hang and see my
cause after his parents’
family and friends,” says the
neighbour, Yvette Fiala,
Exeter High School grad.
asked him for support. Her
“It’s takes a bit of
Special to The Durham Sun
decompressing. It’s go, go, go
on the road. Don’t get me
wrong, it’s the best job in the
world, but you can be in
Hong Kong and just want to
go out for a sub. It can be a
little long sometimes.”
South Africa tops Brann’s
list of favourite places
visited. The band performed
in Johannesburg and Cape
Town. “We had three days off
and our tour manager
scheduled us to visit a huge
lion safari, with wild elephants
roaming around. It was great
watching the sun come up.”
He credits his big break to
his buddies in Sum 41,
whose band members also
hail from Ajax. “We’ve
known each other since we
were little kids. I grew up in
high school bands and they
did their thing. They told me
to keep playing and they’d
find me a band.
“When their manager
signed a new artist and
wanted to put together a
young band, they called me.
I didn’t know if I wanted to
play with a girl singer. I had
played in heavier bands. But
when I heard a track, I
thought, ‘This is going to be
huge.’ I met with Avril, had
dinner, went to a few
rehearsals and was signed.”
Bann will be soon heading
to Argentina and Buenos
Aries on the South American
leg of Lavigne’s tour. “After
that, we’ll be ready for a nice
long break. We’ve been going
pretty hard. Avril’s going to
start writing and then we’ll
be back at it again.”
■ BRANN AT his ‘day job’ drumming for Avril Lavigne.