Project iAM’s 10th annual Acoustics for Autism has drawn quite a crowd today.
Organizers believe there are at least twice as many people as previous years, easily 3,500 or more patrons standing elbow-to-elbow next to each other in the outdoor tents and inside downtown Maumee establishments serving as co-hosts.
Trey Connor plays the main stage during Acoustics for Autism at The Village Idiot in Maumee.
“You can’t walk into any venue. It’s so insane,” the lead organizer, Nicole Khoury, told The Blade shortly before 4 p.m., stating that they were seeing crowds at 2 p.m. as large or larger as when the peak flow usually comes about 6 p.m.
“It’s at least twice as big as it normally is,” she said. “We’re overwhelmed and humbled. I never thought this would have become as big as it did. It’s an amazing feeling. I haven’t had the time to take it all in yet. Everything is awesome.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Acoustics for Autism
Ms. Khoury is an attorney and part-time public defender during the day, and performs regular gigs at night as the lead singer-guitarist for the pop-rock band, Arctic Clam, one of 55 bands that volunteered their time and talent for this year’s Acoustics for Autism event.
Scott Hayes, Arctic Clam’s drummer and one of many volunteers involved with the event, echoed much of what Ms. Khoury said.
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve seen in Toledo for any philanthropic event,” Mr. Hayes said. “Everyone is very, very excited about the turnout.”
An Acoustics for Autism road sign hangs on the wall during the annual music fundraiser to provide support and information, resources, and financial assistance to families affected by autism.
The dance stage was full of people dancing early in the afternoon, almost from the first note, Mr. Hayes said.
Calm, sunny weather apparently helped, as did coverage by local print and broadcast media, as well as social media buzz over the event reaching its 10-year milestone, he said.
“It is literally crazy and it’s a good-time crazy,” Mr. Hayes said. “It’s a very diverse crowd. People of all ages are here.”
The 14-hour event began at noon and continues until 2 a.m. Monday. There is no cover charge.
The second in a series of benefit CDs featuring the work of participating musicians was released at this year’s event.
Proceeds help families affected by autism. For more information, go to acousticsforautism.com.
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