BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Preparations for the 15th annual Acoustics for Autism event are underway in Maumee.
More than 80 bands will fill eight stages in the uptown Maumee area on Sunday, March 6 between noon and 2:00 a.m.
The event, created in 2008 by Nicole Khoury, was started to fundraise for families with children with autism spectrum disorder.
“I was finding that autism spectrum disorder was very prevalent and there were a lot of resources, but families weren’t able to pay for them,” Khoury said. “We came up with this idea to have a fundraiser that makes sure the money goes to the families so they can pay for the programs.”
Acoustics for Autism raises money that is distributed as part of Project iAm, the nonprofit organization that also runs the event.
“Families apply for scholarships though us,” Khoury said. “They send me the bill and I will pay them until the scholarship is gone.”
The first event in March of 2008 raised $10,000. Since then, the fundraisers have provided $400,000 in support to hundreds of children.
“It has become a beloved event. We even have people flying in for it,” Khoury said. “It really is everybody’s favorite day of the year.”
There are several ways to support the event. Acoustics for Autism volunteers encourage individuals and businesses to donate items to use in the various raffles and a silent auction. To donate an item, those interested can find the donation form on acousticsforautism.com. The silent auction will go live on Monday, February 28 and donations will be accepted until then.
Monetary donations can also be made at acousticsforautism.com/donate or by texting GIVEAFA to 44321. Additionally, when using AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com for purchases, those interested can search for Project iAm among the organizations. Donations are not the only way to help out with the event, though.
“We are always looking for volunteers, there’s a tab for that on our website,” Khoury said. “People who are willing to help can help us with the setup, help us with the teardown. It’s a huge undertaking. It takes us three days to set it up and tear it down.”
For previous attendees and volunteers, the event should come as no surprise.
“We always do it the first Sunday of March and it spans eight different venues,” Khoury said.
Stages will surround Conant Street, both inside places like The Village Idiot, Buster Brown’s and the Elks, as well as outside. A kids’ stage and a sensory-friendly area will also be offered at the event.
For more information on the Sunday, March 6 event, vendor and donation forms and more, visit acousticsforautism.com.