17th Annual Acoustics For Autism Fundraiser To Rock Uptown Maumee On Sunday, March 3

The Village Idiot was the venue for Monday’s press conference announcing the 17th annual Acoustics for Autism event, which is scheduled to take place in uptown Maumee on Sunday, March 3. Pictured (from left) are Acoustics for Autism volunteer Brian Smiegocki, Acoustics for Autism director of fundraising Scott Hayes, Project iAm and Acoustics for Autism founder and executive director Nicole Khoury, Village Idiot co-owner Nikki Schafer (standing on stage), Maumee Mayor Jim MacDonald, Maumee City Council member Scott Noonan, Maumee City Council member Jon Fiscus, Buster Brown’s Big Dog Lounge co-owner Katie Meyer, Maumee Chamber of Commerce executive director Kristin Meyer and Maumee City Council member Philip Leinbach. MIRROR PHOTO BY MIKE McCARTHY

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — It’s one of the largest, free outdoor music festivals in the region and it’s coming back to Maumee on Sunday, March 3.

Project iAm’s Acoustics for Autism will host 95 bands on eight stages in uptown Maumee and draw a crowd of thousands, all to support families affected by autism.

According to executive director and event founder Nicole Khoury, the idea was born out of a conversation with Dave Carpenter and further developed as Khoury learned more about the impact autism has on families.

The one-day event started in 2008 with only one stage and 12 acts to raise awareness and support.

“Sixteen years later, 95 bands later, eight stages later, we’ve turned into one of the biggest free music events in the country, we’ve been told, and it’s right here in your backyard,” Khoury said.

The annual event brings in thousands of dollars each year, having raised more than $800,000 to support local families since its inception in 2008.

With the money Project iAm receives from donations, scholarships are presented to families to assist in a variety of costs, including therapies that might not be fully covered by insurance or other necessities.

This year, director of fundraising Scott Hayes said he is hoping the event crosses the $1 million threshold and is able to provide even more scholarships.

“The donations mean everything,” Hayes said about the generosity of supporters.

Over the years, Project iAm has used the funds created by Acoustics for Autism to meet the needs of hundreds of children and their families. Currently, there are approximately 200 active scholarships being provided by the organization.

“Raising a child is no easy task. Raising a child with autism spectrum disorder is absolutely no easy task and it comes with its own set of unique challenges,” Maumee Mayor Jim MacDonald said. “The city of Maumee believes in the mission of Acoustics for Autism: that families with autism need to be and should be supported.”

MacDonald said the city is happy to work with the volunteers of Acoustics for Autism each year to make the event run as smoothly as possible. Between the varying locations on the streets, in the parking lots and at various local businesses, considerable time and effort is needed to make the event happen every year.

Project iAm is 100-percent volunteer-based; no one receives a salary and there are limited costs associated with running the organization aside from the fees incurred in hosting Acoustics for Autism, Hayes said.

Without its volunteers, Acoustics for Autism would not be able to happen, he added.

The participation of the musicians is vital to the daylong concert festival, which relies on their generosity to provide the entertainment for the event and draw in the crowds.

“I am absolutely most excited to watch all the bands like I always am. I love to see all the new things everybody is doing. I’m excited for our set this year,” said Khoury, who is also the frontwoman for Arctic Clam. “I love to be able to go around to see all the collaborations with all of the people that help make this event possible because without the musicians, we’d be nothing.” 

This year’s band lineup can be found on the website at acousticsforautism.com under the current event tab.

Also found on the website is more information on a shuttle service to help with congestion and the parking situation in the uptown area on the day of the event.

A shuttle will pick up attendees from Ye Olde Cock N Bull at 9 N. Huron St. in Toledo and Jed’s Maumee at 2554 Parkway Plaza hourly between 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Additionally, a shuttle is scheduled to pick up attendees from DraftCade at 6140 Levis Commons Blvd. in Perrysburg hourly from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The shuttle will return riders to the venues on the hour between 2:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Those interested can purchase tickets in advance for $5.00 one way or $8.00 round trip, which helps the volunteers appropriately staff the shuttles.

Tickets can also be purchased the day of the festival for $6.00 each way, cash only.

“Our silent auction will also go live on the website on Monday,” Hayes said.

The silent auction will contain a variety of gift certificates, memorabilia, gift baskets and even prime seating at the Village Idiot for the day of the event. The auction will go live on Monday, February 26 at 9:00 a.m. and end on the day of the event at 5:00 p.m.

Residents who cannot attend Acoustics for Autism and do not wish to participate in the silent auction can still donate to the cause, Hayes said.

“There is a link to donate on the website, and you can text us to donate,” he added.

Those interested can text GIVEAFA to 44321.

More information on the band lineup and location of activities, including a kids’ tent, beer garden, silent auction tent, food trucks and more can be found on acousticsforautism.com.

Check Also

Austin Wilson Is Accepted Into The U.S. Naval Academy

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — The first time Austin Wilson stepped onto the bridge of a …