HELP SUPPORT "LET THERE BE ROCK SCHOOL, PANHANDLE" SHENANDOAH VALLEY, WV


Greetings to all! Today is #GivingTuesday and there are an ever-increasing number of organizations doing incredibly important work on behalf of others, that it is almost impossible to select just one.
This year, on Giving Tuesday and beyond I’d like to help raise money for the Let There Be Rock School Panhandle (LTBRSP). After reading a passionately written post about LTBRSP on Facebook by my friend Scott Devours, I promised I’d help. 

Here’s why... this school located in Martinsburg, WV is owned and operated by William Rice, Scott’s lifelong friend, fellow musician and most importantly, an adult living with cystic fibrosis (CF). The opportunity to be able to help both causes is very important to me.  If you have known me for more than 20 years, you know people living with CF are instantly near and dear to my heart for many reasons. The importance of providing music education for our youth and access to music education is, too - we can not fail them and must also protect, empower and embrace the children and young ones who communicate differently along with those who want to learn. All are best educated through the means of creativity, especially music. I can not imagine a world without music, art, creativity or those who help us really connect. LTBRSP is a safe place with mentors helping youth discover how to best access their own "superpowers", or gifts of self-expression, through music.

Until reading the GoFundMe I did not know his friend is also an adult living with cystic fibrosis which is, “a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.” www.cff.org

It’s a disease that is at times, indescribable and sadly more severe for some. It is also considered an orphan genetic disease because statistically a small percentage of the population are born with it. From 1999 to 2005 I worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and learned, advocated for and saw firsthand what this unrelenting incurable disease did to those living with it and their unbeatable will to live an enriching, active and rewarding life at all costs.

(
Side note: "William has had a double lung transplant, kidney transplant, he survived a heart attack and now suffers from diabetes. It’s also worth noting that William is also one of the longest living recipients of a dual lung transplant too. We have a long way to go to get where we need to be, but with a little help from our network of amazing people, I know we can get there.” Scott Devours)

I’m now reaching out hoping to publicize this request within the CF community and to friends who understand the importance of independently owned and funded, music education programs and schools especially in communities, like Martinsburg, WV, where arts funding, access to programs and resources are needed most.

Full disclosure, my friend Scott is the drummer for Roger Daltrey's Band (among others as well) and he created this GoFundMe. We've been friends for more than a decade and he has always been a very generous, witty, humble person and friend, and continues to thrive as an incredibly gifted musician/songwriter and writer, as you will see while reading what he’s composed here to help his friend, here:

Even though I don’t know William, based on my experiences I will 2nd Scott’s awe-filled recognition of how he, William, does not ever complain and can say the same about each child, teenager and the few, rare, adults I got to know – not once did I hear any of them complain. Without exception, every person I’ve met living with CF each have this rare, uniquely outstanding sense of optimism, and all are Mensa level intelligent, analytically brilliant and artistically creative. The friendships I made with the young ones and families I worked so closely with changed my life and when I left the CFF, I made myself a personal promise to continue helping people with CF however I can all ways, big and small. This one request I consider big, here’s why, per the campaign page: Every penny donated will go directly and exclusively to the LTBRSP to help them move to their new safer and more conveniently located school. Here's the most recent update from November 25th. 


William and Scott, friends since kindergarten.
If you have CF or are a parent of a child with CF and would like more information,
please contact William at: (301) 418-0715.

Excerpt from first GFM post: “We are trying to raise $20,000 for the Let There Be Rock School Panhandle, which is the nonprofit (501c3 pending) passion project of friend and local pillar William "Butch" Rice. In short, William's been putting everything he has into this music school located in Martinsburg, WV which is one of the significantly less affluent areas in the eastern Panhandle and the MD/VA/WV/PA region. The school supports local kids from all backgrounds and gives them a safe place to play and learn. There is a national GoFundMe Campaign supporting this goal that enables people from outside the area to help support this amazing school. This is the reason they are raising money: “The building where the current school is located has a leaky roof, a less than sympathetic property owner and an inefficient archaic heating system that produces electric bills that dwarf the rent many, many times over. The ultimate goal is to give William enough financial breathing room to move to and ultimately buy a better building for his school and his amazing students.” - Scott Devours

When I read the “leaky roof” part of the above sentence my heart and mind raced, and I realized this is an urgent request, especially considering winter is approaching. People living with CF are extremely, extremely, extremely (did I say extremely enough) susceptible to colds, and poor air quality greatly and immediately affects their quality of life, sometimes severely. I checked the weather for that region; they get blizzard type of snowstorms, making it even more important to secure the roof of the building their school is located in. Weather also predicts snowfall the first week of December.

Benefit Fundraiser: If you live in the Middletown, MD 21769 area, a holiday benefit show is being held on Saturday, December 22, at RICHLAND GOLF CLUB (Above the Valley Sports Grill Bar) at 50 Glenbrook Drive from 2:30 pm -6:00 pm. There will also be an RnR & sports memorabilia auction. To purchase tickets and more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1922579748036921/

About: Let There Be Rock School is a combination music lesson facility and after school rock and roll community center where students can take guitar, drum, bass, keyboard, DJ, vocal and record engineering lessons in a safe, supportive, community environment. Very much family-oriented, at LTBRS students can hang in the lounge and play pool, jam with their friends, or do their homework in the quiet area. (https://www.letthereberockwv.com/)

To donate directly to www.gofundme.com/let-there-be-rock-school-panhandle - Every penny donated (minus the 5%-8% GoFundMe fees) will go directly and exclusively to the LTBRSP to help them move to their new safer and more conveniently located school. (See the GoFundMe page to learn more about the school and the allocation of all funds to be raised)

I have not met William but hope this helps get the word out there, so they can achieve their goal in raising money for his “Let There Be Rock School Panhandle” (LTBRSP). Also, that this helps shine a victorious spotlight on him, as a person living life to the fullest, who happens to have CF. Being allowed to keep and improve his commitments, he will also encourage other adults living with CF to not ever give up. Thank you for supporting my friend Scott’s request, and most importantly for the kids, the longevity of the school and his friend William.

With sincere gratitude,
Shawni Groves

###

Let There Be Rock School Panhandle (LTBRSP)

CONTACT:
William Rice, Owner/Operator

ADDRESS:
1017 S. Queen St.,
Martinsburg, WV 25401

EMAIL:
ltbrspanhandle@gmail.com
PHONE:
(301) 418-0715

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LTBRSPanhandle/
Instagram: @LetThereBeRockSchool
https://www.letthereberockwv.com

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