On Friday, July 27th, the employees of the 10 Chicagoland Guitar Center stores got together to play a show at the Double Door Chicago in an effort to raise money for Autism Speaks. All proceeds from the door cover charge were donated and all bands featured employees of the Guitar Center Stores. This idea came from the Doug Reaves, General Manager of the Villa Park location, who has a nephew on the spectrum and he named it Music Speaks. He assembled a small committee to help with promotion and raffle items. In addition to the concert, during the entire month of July, all 10 stores sold puzzle pieces at their registers. Each store was also educated about Autism and displayed our information.
People were coming in daily, thanking us for being so kind and generous to the autism community. "We were blown away by the response", said Reaves, "and had no idea what kind of impact this would make on our own employees and with the public."
This concert was the third event of its kind, originally orchestrated by Reaves when he ran a store in Detroit, Michigan and by far this was the most successful. Between the concert and puzzle piece sales, Guitar Center raised almost $8,000 for the Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks.
Plans are already underway for a 2013 Music Speaks benefit concert.