The eatery, at Woodfield Village Green along Golf Road, will donate a portion of its beer sales from 5:30 to 11 p.m. to the not-for-profit music school that serves about 5,000 children in Chicago and the suburbs, said Cathy Wloch, development specialist at Merit. Sketchbook Brewing Company is assisting with the fundraising effort. The Evanston company is donating funds and holding a contest where participants will be asked to draw their favorite heavy metal album cover on a coaster. Winners will receive gift cards and prizes, Wloch said.
She said the nationally-accredited music school, which started 38 years ago, provides classes in Chicago and the suburbs to educate children in a variety of genres and instruments. The idea for the school originated after music was cut in many schools because of lack of funding.
Students range in age from toddlers to 18-year-olds. When the program started in 1979 there were 150 students. There are now close to 5,000 children in the program.
"It's a robust and thriving program and addresses the need that schools can't provide enough music because of budget cuts," Wloch said.
About 60 percent of the students that attend the music classes are low income and 70 percent are in need of financial aid, she added.
The money raised through the fundraiser will help pay for students to attend classes that range from guitar lessons to orchestra performances.
The school announced another fundraising partnership last month.
Merit is partnering with Cambridge Audio, a 50-year-old British maker of hi-fidelity audio equipment. The company, expanding to the U.S. in 2018, and will open its first U.S. retail location in Chicago later this year. To kick off the partnership, Cambridge is donating 50 percent of the proceeds it earns from the sales of its SE1 headphones to Merit and its other U.S.-based charitable partner, Music Unites.