Banded for Life

The Problem

Monroe County is a large county in terms of land, however, the population is just under 40,000. We are comprised of several rural communities which suffer from poverty, lack of education, discrimination, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and poor health. It sounds pretty disheartening to list it all but the bright part about the problems in our county is the teen population who see hope for the future. Specifically, a group of young people who recently formed a band called Stainless. These kids have no musical training and have only been playing for about a year but they have volunteered their time and amazing energy to nearly every cause possible. They have united with other teen bands to perform for free at rallies, chili suppers, fundraisers and drug and alcohol free teen events. Rachel, the band's vocalist is a beautiful 14 year old who often uses her time on stage to express hope for the cause she's playing for. She even went as far as to write and compose a new song for one of her mother's friends, a breast cancer survivor who recently had stage IV Breast Cancer but is now cancer free. Rachel is now working with teen center staff to get her song on iTunes where she will sell it and donate every penny to the her mother's friend for medical expenses. I am director of teen services for Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area Teen Center and I could never express in words what I have witnessed from our group of teen bands who have truly "Banded for Life". Nearly every worthy cause we face in our county has been answered with positive music, lyrics and words of courage, suvival and hope for our future. I could never dream of anything better than having these teens see a great reward for their efforts.

Plan of Action

After playing at a few teen events for Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area Teen Center, Stainless, a band comprised of two twin brothers, a sister and close friend decided to offer their talents to local organizations in need of entertainment for community fundraisers. In the past year, these kids have volunteered to play for causes that effect their hometown, neighbors and community. They have made an extraodinary effort at their own expense for travel, gear, food, etc. to bring Stainless to every platform, stage and community center possible. The envision a monthly benefit concert with the help of Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area called "Banded for Life" in which they will name a cause from their own convictions or at the request of others for which to raise funds. Concert tickets will be $4 pre-ordered and $5 at the door. 100% of the money earned will go the the cause for that month.

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