|Family Voices of Minnesota will be hosting its 11th annual benefit, “Connecting Hearts – Raising Voices,” event on Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Tickets are free to this virtual event. Interested participants need to register online at: https://bit.ly/fvmnbenefit2022. The main event will be emceed by author, playwright and story-teller Kevin Kling who is often featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Kling is back for his fourth year at the event. The event will also be co-hosted by local actor, Joel Liestman, who is a dad to a son with a rare genetic condition and a Family Voices of Minnesota Parent Support Navigator. Attendees will hear from Family Voices staff about the importance of peer support for parents raising children with disabilities and extra needs and from parents who have received services from Family Voices of Minnesota. Entertainment includes a talk by Kate Swenson, a mom, advocate and speaker who is the author of “Forever Boy” and creator of the popular blog, “Finding Cooper’s Voice: The Secret World of Autism.” Attendees will also hear from Mariella Elm, a singer, writer, and high school student with a rare disability. She and her dad, Tommy Barbarella, acclaimed keyboardist to Prince and Nick Jonas, are writing a musical entitled, “The Girl Who Cried Different,” which looks at navigating the tricky world of middle school through the eyes of a student with special needs. Mariella will share an update on her musical and how it feels to be a role model to other children.