Martin Guitar’s Nazareth Main Street Festival hits the right note to help businesses with disabilities | Lehigh Valley Regional News

NAZARETH, Pa. — For one local business, the Martin on Main Guitar Festival means more than a good time. And another product of Nazareth lends a helping hand.

Duke’s Delites, an all-natural dog treat company, is located in the packaging building.

“This customer would like sweet potatoes,” founder Bill Wright told his employees.

19 members of Wright’s team have intellectual disabilities.

For 25-year-old Nicole Allen, this is her first job.

“It’s like her favorite day of the week,” said her mother, Lisa. “If she could do that every day of the week, she’d be the happiest girl in the world.”

Wright said, “The unemployment rate is about 80 to 90 percent; once they graduate from high school, there really aren’t any opportunities left for them.”

Wright, whose son is autistic, said there is also a housing shortage. He is raising funds to build a 16,000-square-foot home for his employees, if needed, if those employees lack a family support system.

At the Martin Guitar Archives and Museum, manager Jason Ahner showed the inside of the Nazareth headquarters.

“This is one of our LX1 touring guitars,” he said.

Martin Guitar is in a supporting role, bringing this guitar to Duke’s at Saturday’s Martin on Main festival in Nazareth.

The guitar will then be auctioned off to raise funds for housing.

This is the same model that popular singer Ed Sheeran used for years during his historic 2015 sold-out show at London’s Wembley Stadium.

“Whether you’re a couch potato or a touring musician, this guitar is a great fit for anyone,” said Ahner.

As for Duke, it’s a tune most people know.

“Almost everyone has someone in their family that they can relate to, or someone with autism or an intellectual disability,” Wright said. – That’s what we’re talking about.

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