Event Highlights

Music for a Reason 2013: Event Highlights

Music for a Reason took place at Proctors' GE Theater on Saturday, January 12th from 7:00 - 10:00PM. This was The Autism Initiative's first-ever event, and it turned out to be a huge success for our new organization!

The purpose of the evening was to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorders, expose the community to the work of The Autism Initiative, and raise money to achieve our mission of offering employment opportunities for disabled individuals.

With heartfelt performances from local musicians, an exciting Basket Raffle with well over $500 in goods and gift certificates up for grabs, and Puzzles Bakery & Cafe treats available for purchase, concert-goers had a very enjoyable evening. In all, the event raised over $2,500 in donations for the continued work of The Autism Initiative. See what some of our attendees had to say about Music for a Reason!

It was a terrific night with lots of talent on that stage: I thoroughly enjoyed everyone up there! I am proud to support The Autism Initiative!
— Steve Oill
Fantastic turnout, super event, wonderful people, amazing evening, great cause...
what more can I say?
— Michele Stiffler
Proud to be part of this great event and cause! Thank you to all of the fabulous musicians.
— Ronda Fein
I’m amazed at what a great night of music and generosity it was!
— Rob Fish
It was a great time for a great cause. We all need to work together and try to support each other.
— Cindy Barkowski
It was work of the best kind. You make me hopeful for the future.
— Gail Sparlin
Thank you to everyone who put this awesome event together! It was so well executed and everyone had a great time. I’m looking forward to more events in the future, and all the good that is to come from The Autism Initiative!
— Allie Fish
With the efforts of youth like this, it’s clear that the world has a great future. All the musicians did a beautiful job choosing the songs in their sets. The words take on new meaning when they’re meant for special people. I can’t say enough!
— Laurie Resila

Caught on Film!


"Emily's Song"

Dan Hickey original, "Emily's Song," performed at Proctors GE Theater at The Autism Initiative's "Music for a Reason" concert didn't leave a dry eye in the house.


"Fall for You"

Lizzie Fish, accompanied by Dave Graham, performs "Fall for You" by Secondhand Serenade at Proctor's GE Theater in Schenectady.


"Goin' to the Bakery"

Dave Graham original, "Bakery," sung with the help of son, Luke Graham, at The Autism Initiative's Music for a Reason concert at Proctors' GE Theater.


Words of Thanks

I'd like to thank everyone who helped make Music for a Reason a HUGE success! It was an absolutely wonderful evening with incredible musicians, volunteers, and families affected by autism. Many thanks to the countless sponsors, donors, friends and family members for supporting the work of The Autism Initiative!

A very special thanks to the following volunteers: Tanya Pratt for putting together all 33 baskets and single-handedly managing the raffle, Tyler Pratt for selling Puzzles Bakery & Cafe baked goods during the event, Alex Hester for taking all of the incredible photos seen above, Larry Fein for assisting with admission at the concert, and Trish Washburn for stepping in last-minute and helping out at the event. Thank you also to Maria Krause and Annie Grzywaczewski for their generous donations to the raffle. 

Of course, a big thanks to all of our musicians for lending their talents to our cause: Dan Hickey, Steve Oill & Rick Sleeper, Dave Graham, Chris Wisniewski, and Lizzie Fish. A special thanks to Gail Sparlin, not only for sharing her beautiful songs, but for donating the use of her sound system and for handling everything sound-related at the event!

Thank you to The Autism Initiative's board members, Ronda Fein and Elaine Hickey, for all of their help with Music for a Reason and for their continued work with The Autism Initiative. Also, a big thank you to Autism Initiative Advisory Board member and event-planning extraordinaire, Chloejean Tedford, for all of her assistance with the event.

Many thanks to all of our sponsors: The Cock 'n Bull Restaurant, Esperanto of Saratoga Springs, Bombers Burrito Bar, Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse, The Happy Cappuccino, Katie O'Byrne's, Uncommon Grounds, Four Seasons Natural Foods, Curry Freeze, Ambition Coffee House and Eatery, Villa Italia, Pinhead Susan's, Gaffney's, The Van Dyck, and Bailey's Cafe. And last but not least, a very special thank you to Proctors for donating the use of the GE Theater

Thanks a million! This event wouldn't have been possible without all of you.


Sara Mae Hickey
Founder, The Autism Initiative