The Audiophiles perform at The Village Idiot in Maumee as part of the 11th annual Acoustics for Autism event March 4, 2018.
For 14 hours Sunday into Monday, local musicians rocked downtown Maumee.
In what’s become a popular annual gathering, Acoustics for Autism brought together music lovers and those for whom the cause is close to their hearts.
“This has become a kind of rite of spring,” said Dave Carpenter, who co-founded the sprawling event in 2008 with musician and attorney Nicole Khoury.
Through Acoustics for Autism, the nonprofit Project iAm has distributed nearly $200,000 in the last decade to help families of autistic children pay for services their health insurance doesn't cover.
Danielle Veitch of Perrysburg said her 15-year-old daughter received a Project iAm scholarship four years ago that paid for sensory learning therapy with a local ophthalmologist. The cost: $3,600, not covered by insurance.
“Insurance doesn't pay for much,” Ms. Veitch said, explaining that only her daughter's speech therapy has been covered.
She volunteered Sunday in the silent auction tent where guests could bid on a number of donated items, from a custom-made guitar to artwork and a golf package. It's one way Acoustics for Autism, where admission is free, raises money.
“It's such a cool thing to be part of,” Ms. Veitch said. “It grows every year.”
Wolf Creek Risin' in performance at Acoustics for Autism. Band members are Amie Brodie on vocals, her husband Bruce Brodie on guitar and harmonica, and Vern Treado on acoustic bass.
Ms. Khoury, a member of the band Arctic Clam and a recently elected Toledo Municipal Court judge, said organizers were expecting some 10,000 people over the course of the day and night.
“We've had a ridiculous amount of support from the community because this is the one day of the year that everyone feels equal, welcomed, and loved,” Ms. Khoury said. “Between the power of music and the good-hearted souls of the community, we've grown to be the event that everyone loves.”
Acoustics for Autism began 11 years ago at the Village Idiot on Conant Street. The event still features performances at the Idiot, but the more than 60 musicians now perform on stages at Buster Brown's, the Elks Lodge, and several tents all within walking distance of each other.
Some enjoying a cold beer and listening to music said they come out to support the cause. Some knew the musicians. Some were just looking for a fun way to spend the day.
All of the bands play for free. The proceeds, after the expenses are paid, go directly to helping families.
Pam and Joe Schmidt of Holland were checking out Acoustics for Autism for the first time. Their 26-year-old son, a college graduate, has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, and they know how important early intervention is.
“If people can get a diagnosis early on and get services, it makes a world of difference,” Mrs. Schmidt said.
For information about Project iAm, go to acousticsforautism.com.
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