Acoustics for Autism concert is March 4, 2012Written by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
The fifth annual Acoustics for Autism event gathers nearly 30 of Toledo’s musical acts together for a benefit concert March 4.
“It’s probably the greatest event in Toledo if you’re a music lover,” said event co-chair Dave Carpenter, adding, “Every year, you’d have to drive all over the city to see these people.”
The concert benefits Project iAm, a charity that provides scholarships to Toledo-area children with autism. Nicole Khoury, an attorney who also plays in Arctic Clam, started the charity after talking with her best friend, whose child has autism, about the struggles families can face when it comes to finances.
“I don’t ever want a family not to get their kid tested or not seek a treatment,” Khoury said. She added that although there are state funds available, there is only so much to go around.
This is the first year that the show at The Village Idiot features an outdoor stage for younger, newer performers.
“Last year, it was so busy; I needed another space, but I refuse to move it. I don’t care how big the event gets, I’ll never move it from [the Village Idiot],” Khoury said. The event now needs three stages.
Acoustics for Autism also gives patrons a chance to go home with loot. A silent auction features Detroit Red Wings tickets, signed Detroit Tigers merchandise, a Chicago Cubs package and deals from local restaurants. There is also a raffle in which participants can buy a key that might open a merchandise-stuffed vault for $10 or two keys for $15.
Artists playing this year include Arctic Clam, Carpenter’s band Dave Carpenter & the Jaeglers, Kyle White, Chris Knopp, Mark Mikel, Chris Shutters, Bobby May, John Barile and The Eight Fifteens.
The artists enjoy playing the annual event as much as patrons enjoy watching. “It’s such a good cause and all the proceeds go to local families and it’s fun. Lots of great musicians are there so you get to see a lot of people you normally wouldn’t see,” said White, who has performed at every concert since the benefit’s inception.
Carpenter agreed and said “if it weren’t such a good time” the event wouldn’t have the response it has. Even with free admission, the event raised $15,000 for the cause last year.
Despite her busy schedule, Khoury makes time for the charity and event because it’s so important to her. She largely runs the charity from her computer with little overhead.
“I’m kinda an energy-driven person; I thrive on stress,” she said, adding, “[The cause is] too close to the heart. I’m a woman of my word — if I say I’m gonna do something, I do it.”
Project iAm’s board decides together which families get the scholarships. The next application deadline is April 20. Applications are available at http://aboutprojectiam.com/applications/. The best way to get a boost on your application is to volunteer for Project iAm, Khoury said.
“If I don’t have volunteers, I don’t have events,” she said.
The fifth annual Acoustics for Autism starts at noon March 4. The Village Idiot is located at 309 Conant St., Maumee. For a full schedule, visit http://acousticsforautism.com/.