I believe the purpose of life is to serve and love! I challenge you to personally become involved with a charitable organization. Purpose will fill your life with joy! I will be updating this page and my involvement with charitable organizations throughout the world, and I hope you will take a moment to explore these amazing people on a most wonderful journey.
it has been a really busy trip to los angeles. i had received a call to be a background person for a scene in television show, sons of anarchy. 14 hours on a set is a full day, these people work tremendous hours. it was a fantastic experience! my manager melody flew in for a day of filming and of course the highlight of the trip, my visit to “a place called home”, a after school resource center for children in south central los angeles. i would have never guessed what amazing tools this organization gives it’s community children, wow! they welcomed melody and i with open arms. i love how there always seems to be a few children that will latch on, or closely follow my every step throughout the half day visit. it’s not enough to simply tour a facility when i am looking to volunteer my time at a organization, it seems as i need to meet every child, and each person involved. there are many classes, art, music, karate, etc……and the kids can eat, and it’s even real food(all home made). i went throughout the classes meeting instructors and children. the music education and facility is simply amazing! i got to listen to some of their produced music, the kids produce, arrange, mix, and perform here, its pretty cool. i played a little bit of football catch, and shot a game of horse, as the real interaction takes place on the play-ground. the interactivity between the kids and instructors was a very personable approach, refreshing to watch these instructors and volunteers truly enjoy working with these children. i will be supporting this organization and volunteering during my visits to south central los angeles! i made some really nice new friends, thank you ana maria for a fantastic day.
I was invited to participate in the Give Kids The World charity event with 120 reality stars this weekend! After touring the facility i was amazed at the size of this village for children, and families of course. the cottages/homes for the families are painted as if out of a story book, actually, the entire facility is one amazing storybook! Meeting the children was of course the highlight of this trip, and i sat in awe watching these children with life threatening illnesses having so much fun, dancing, ice cream, singing, doing the hokey pokey, and simply sharing time with people laughing and hugging. refreshing to see such positive, although challenging to watch the struggles of these young children. thank you michael nunez for making my weekend with Give Kids The World such a wonderful experience. can’t wait to do again next year!
My visit to Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center was a highlight in my trip to California. There is this wonderful woman named Kim that directs the facility, and she has this most visible compassion for her work, wow. It was challenging to watch the video presentation of Michelle’s life, as I could feel the sadness in the room as 100 of us stood quietly, you could literally feel hearts weeping. It was a reminder of why we were all there to participate in raising funding for this amazing family of people giving it ALL back to women dealing with this sickening disease. I hope you will join me, as I will be once again raising money for this much needed facility!
Gillian Larson from Survivor has simply shaken my inner spirit! There is something very special about the energy this woman displays, something beautiful. I was surrounded by 100 amazing people that work in the reality television industry, i mean, survivor, amazing race, big brother, and so on, kind of surreal to me i guess. I was a bit nervous, as i have stayed somewhat quiet in regard to doing public events. there were so many people i wanted to spend time learning, so many articulate, artistic, sharp, and caring people. but, i must say, the itinerary keeps you moving at a very quick pace. we were all there for one simple reason, to give back! meeting richard hatch was a very special thing for me, truly one amazing guy. alex and melody were two of the kindest people i have met, and this guy is real musical talent! elvis strange was the most photogenic person there, and a great guy! both kelly’s from The Swan, absolutely beautiful and the coolest girls on the block! geeez, it just goes on and on, and of course i finally got to meet tyana from the apprentice, yes, she is the fireball of the group! i noticed we all shared something in common. there was this energy during the event, you could simply feel this overwhelming amount of compassion, and you could see the joy in everyones eyes knowing they were a part of making a real difference. once again, i am humbled to be part of such a wonderful charity event. to you Gillian, wow, you are loved by many! thank you for letting me be a part of this special group of givers! see you at Reality Rally 2013!
During my visit home, i was lucky enough to make several visits. the boys and girls club has been dear to my heart since childhood. with a busy single parent raising us two boys, the B&G club was a safe haven for us boys. we would play games, meet new friends, and of course the boxing class was wonderful, as those special moments with boxing coach joe taylor would stay with me forever. i have a dream to instill music education in the B & G club, so i am hoping to one day make this dream come true, and i hope you will stay tuned and join me in this wonderful new venture! seeing all the kids was most certainly a highlight, i even got a brand new pink bracelet from one of the little girls!
While home visiting i had the great pleasure to volunteer for the food give away program with pastor jeff and my friend debbie. i met so many kind people. sometimes it’s hard to see the struggle, but i am very happy i had the chance to personally be involved with such an amazing program! i wish you continued success pastor jeff, as your unconditional giving self simply makes this world a brighter place! thank you for the experience!
I am traveling for a very special weekend in New Orleans! it’s very difficult to see the damage from the flooding here, wow. i am traveling with Kenny, and this should be a fantastic experience. i will be at Tulane College tomorrow on WTUL campus radio, sharing my passion for public awareness in regard to TBI (traumatic brain injury). the campus has a great energy, not to mention some incredible architecture design! every one seems to be really nice and accommodating, and the food is wonderful and fattening! after the interview we went down town to explore some live music, it’s everywhere and so much talent! kenny’s brother paul has made my trip most wonderful, paul is such a proactive mind with amazing energy, thank you paul for everything! let’s eat more:)
i am speechless today, as i prepare for one of the most incredible experiences of my musical journey! tonight, i will be performing at the infamous Tippitina’s in New Orleans. when i arrived at the venue i was warmly welcomed, given a tour of the venue, and then we ate again of course! i had been excited all week, as i will be performing on the same stage as so many legendary musicians, im a bit nervous. im not really nervous about performing, but i will be meeting one of my musical hero’s that i will share the stage with. stanley jordan is one of the most unique jazz musicians i have ever heard, and to share the stage with someone of that caliber just freaks me out! stanley and i shared some time in the green room having dinner before the show. i ate shrimp, crab, and some yummy mexican food, and stanley ate a healthy vegetarian platter thingy. he was very soft spoken and a incredibly warm and personable guy. this one will go down in my all time favorite experiences! thank you stanley for giving me the opportunity to share the stage, im humbled!
April 1, 2011 – I have just returned from New York and my experience with the National Brain Injury Foundation was beyond words! It is such a rush when a new group of people welcome you with such open arms. Gerry and I always have a fantastic time traveling together, we seem to share that exploring pirate mentality! We started with some amazing italian food and some yummy red wine. Lisa is a most wonderful host and her work with the brain injury foundation is to be applauded! The venue is breath taking with a veranda some 30 something feet high above the baby grand. I remind myself throughout the day as to how lucky I am to have gerry standing next to me, organized, and always ensuring timeliness as tardi and late doesn’t sit well with me. Now sitting in the hotel room, as the ritual of gerry insisting I take 20 minutes of quiet time for myself before playing. Entering to perform reminds me of stepping on the mound to throw the first pitch of the game, just gets me going. I always know in my heart that when i look out in the crowd and tears begin to expose themselves, i have truly shared my life! John Wessell and his wife Gail touched my life in a powerful way, thank you! Fritz and Beth, wow, amazing talent, amazing people you both are, and to everyone I met in new york, thank you for allowing me to share such a wonderful evening!
I will be volunteering for the Shared Journey’s Brain Injury Charity event this saturday (april 9, 2011). i am so excited to see deborah and nate. nate is a tbi survivor and one of the most sincere and kindest people i have ever met. it seems that us tbi survivors always have wonderful mothers! i will be the voice during the rally walk, and then making a brief appearance in ft. collins for the event. i will take lots of photos, i dont get to see deborah and nate enough. jason will be volunteering with me! these are the things in my life that make me tick!
It was so nice to see some faces i have not seen in awhile. The journey quest run/walk had a fantastic turnout, and Nate insisted on doing the walk without the infamous “pd cane.” nate has really put some size on his arms and he is always in good spirits. i was lucky enough to walk along side nate as he did in fact complete it without the cane! his perseverance is amazing and very inspiring to say the least. i have this beautiful bond with both nate and deborah, and im so darn lucky to be involved in their life journey and cause!
The Arc of Hope for Haiti Charity event was fantastic. The Journey Museum has this magnificant theater room where I will be performing tonight. Jill has this great charisma and certainly lights up a room! My daughter Sydney is traveling with me and she has brought a friend along for the trip. I have met some really wonderful people here. travis and jennifer are outstanding people, not to mention wonderful musicians, this guy can sing, actually, they both can! i got to spend the evening with some new friends at a seperate charity event and got to meet tom martin, another amazing individual. i stayed the night with trish and D in their stunning home, i really didn’t want to leave, as they have become such wonderful friends. my life would take another crazy turn today. as i walked up to the venue, i passed a blind guy walking with his mother. i told my daughter, he must be a musician, he had a piano tie on. a few hrs passed by as i was getting ready in the green room. a woman asked if i would take a moment so she could introduce me to her son. as i walked out to say hello, it was the blind guy i had passed earlier in the day. i looked closely, and i said i know you. i had felt as this hot flash feeling thing was about to knock me to my knees. for some reason tears began to roll down my face. i had this immediate connection with one of the most gifted people on this planet. i forever thank you janice! your son has become someone very special in my life. the blind guy i passed by is now my dear friend, my inspiration, and i look forward to sharing life with you Tony! Tony DeBlois is blind, autistic, and is a berkley school of music graduate. Tony plays 22 instruments. but more than that, his soul is pure with joy!
The Matthew Henry brain injury charity event was a great experience. Matthew is a kind kid, and he is mending quickly from a motorcycle accident that left him with some amazing challenges. He has a great zest for life and certainly is pushing the envelope to get healthy fast! The setting is beautiful, the outdoor amphitheater is wonderful. I have my daughters both with me, and of course Kenny and Gerry are handling the important stuff:) I wish you well Matthew, and what a pleasure to spend the day with you and your family!