Acoustics for Autism: March 8 charity fundraiser will feature 30-plus bands on four stagesWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Khoury is not directly affected by autism, but the cause is important to her.
After watching parents of children with autism struggle to afford treatment and travel expenses, Khoury took matters into her own hands. She started Acoustics For Autism to raise money for Project iAm scholarships, which go directly to the families in need.
“It started off as me knowing people who were going through this and not having the money, going into so much debt to try to help their kids,” Khoury said. “The best thing I can say is that when something makes me mad enough, I do something and I do it with a statement. If it wasn’t for my anger, we probably wouldn’t be where we are right now so thanks for making me mad.”
The first Acoustics for Autism event, held in 2008, was a rousing success, Khoury said. This year’s event will take place March 8 in Downtown Maumee on four stages, the most the event has hosted to date. Live music will be heard at the Bier Garden tent, The Village Idiot stage, the Buster Brown’s stage and the silent auction tent. The outdoor Bier Garden tent will be heated, Khoury said.
More than 30 local musical acts are scheduled to perform including: Arctic Clam, Dave Carpenter & The Jaeglers, The Eight Fifteens, Jeff Stewart & The 25s, Flabongo Nation, Kyle White, Barile & May, Joe Woods Band, Brian Bocian, Judge Byers, Captain Sweet Shoes, Trey McLaughlin and more.
“This year, we’re really expanding so that we can get more people in,” Khoury said. “Sometimes we get so busy in some of the bars that people can’t even walk in the door.”
There will be donated merchandise up for grabs via a silent auction with a “Buy It Now” option. The merchandise will have Toledo flair, Khoury said. There will be raffles during the event as well.
Last year, the event brought in its highest profits yet with around $27,000 raised. This year, Khoury would love to break $30,000.
The need to help families affected by autism is now more important than ever as more children are diagnosed, Khoury said.
“When I started the charity in 2008, the statistic was one in every 150 kids was diagnosed with autism. Now the statistic is one in every 66 kids,” Khoury said. “More families now are more aware of it. I think that now they are starting to understand it.”
The original intent was to have the Acoustics For Autism event just once. But as it continued to grow, Khoury began to plan the event annually.
“What am I supposed to do, just throw in the towel at this point?” Khoury said.
Josh Whitney of The Eight Fifteens is returning to the event for the sixth year.
“I think it’s a great, great cause,” Whitney said. “It’s a way for me to give back to the community. … I’m very passionate for causes about kids. It just feels good that you can help in some small way.”
Project iAm is a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the federal government.
For more information, visit acousticsforautism.com.