Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update from Guitars for Vets

I got this update from Steve Benford this week. I knew you would want to see it.

G4V supporters, Its been a while since our last update and a lot has happened.

We have been getting a TON of press and exposure which is fantastic. In March gave us some exposure in their newsletter. That led to about 600-700 hits on the website in a 2 day period. It also prompted 250+ emails. The outpouring of support and encouragement meant a lot to us. It also made us aware of the need for our program. Of those 250+ emails about 75 of them were requests for guitars. To all of you who inquired, hang in there, we haven't forgotten you. Please remember we are a small group and we are trying out best.

We are really concentrating out efforts in our backyard at this time. The Milwaukee, and Toma, WI VA's are our primary places for our program. On April, 8th and 9th we saw the fruits of our labor come to pass. We were able to give away 27 guitars in those 2 days. It also marked the start of our lesson program at the Milwaukee VA. We have about 15 Vets taking lessons every Tuesday and Thursday. Special thanks to Pete and Tom for volunteering! Please check out the Pictures section of the G4V site of pics of the Milwaukee guitar presentations. Toma pics will be up shortly.

Lets back up a second. All our paperwork has been filed, and we are now an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization!!! What does this mean? It means we are able to file for grants and take large donations from companies. Our goal is to give away 750-1000 guitars a year. That’s a lot of money we would need to raise, so having the 501 status is a big deal.

On behalf of G4V, we’d like to take this moment to thank everyone who has donated guitars, bought t-shirts, donated money, and bought raffle tickets. We wish you were all here to see the change we are making in peoples lives.

We also would like to thank Gibson Guitars for donating an Epiphone Hummingbird acoustic!!!

On May 2nd Steve, Dan, John, and Pete went down to Chicago to meet Gary Sinise (CSI New York, Forest Gump) Gary plays bass in a band called The Lt Dan Band (his character in Forest Gump). WHO KNEW!?!?! TLDB plays charity events for Veterans all over the US. We were fortunate to meet him after the show and plant the G4V bug in his ear. Hopefully we will be able to work with him in the future. Special thanks to Larry and Don of Westerheimer Corp ( Cort Guitars) in Northbrook IL for hooking us up with tickets and the meet and greet with Gary!

Heres what we have coming up in the next couple months.

May 17th-18th we will be a the Vintage Guitar Magazines Guitar show in Chicago Illinois. Cream City Music has donated one of their tables for us to set up and promote. This is one of the biggest guitars shows of the year and we are excited to be there. Also on May 17th, we will be here in Milwaukee at the Welcome Home event at our Veterans Museum. The 440th is coming back from Iraq. We will be there to celebrate that, and that should prove to be a good time.

May 31st marks a special day for us. Godin Guitars will be holding an event at Cream City Music. Daryl Streummer of Genesis/ Phil Collins will be there giving a clinic. Godin has donated a guitar which will be raffled off at the event. All the proceeds will go to G4V! ALSO, we will be drawing the winner of the Benford 101st Airborne eagle guitar. As you may recall we are only selling a limited amount of tickets. 300 to be exact. We are getting close to that mark, so if you were thinking about getting one (or 10) act quickly!

Another cool event we have coming up will be in the beginning of Sept. An Art show. We are taking any donated guitars that are un repairable and giving them to local artists for the show. They will be displayed at The Art Bar on the east side of Milwaukee. Everything will be for sale and proceeds will benefit G4V. It’s a creative way to take a guitar that is no longer playable and use it to generate some much needed funds for the program. More details will be on the website as they arise. If you are in the Milwaukee or Madison area and have an old beat up acoustic guitar you don’t need, let us know!

That’s it for now. I imagine I have forgotten something, so you may see another newsletter soon!

As always, thanks for the support. Don’t forget, Buy a T-shirt. We have S-L-XL-2XL-3XL sizes!

Steve Benford

Dan, Patrick, John, Steve and Pete.

I'm so happy to see these guys taking off like this. I hope the program grows even more.

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