Rocking for a great cause... one of the most important things I get from my life as a musician. Photos by Kat.
As tends to be the case with me, my music performance schedule is pretty unpredictable. It's typical due to conflicting demands on my time that early in the year, I rarely am able to do live music shows in Second Life very often. As winter turns to spring, that often changes, and this year's been no exception. It's still rare that I accept shows on both days of a weekend, but in the case of a worthwhile charity, I find that I'll make the time regardless.
That's certainly the case with Homes For Our Troops, a non-profit charity for whom fundraising events are held in SL in which I've participated for a number of years. Frets Nirvana, a fellow SL musician, is the organizer of these events that are held on the last Sunday of every month throughout the year. He does a great job not only rallying the musical performers but also acting as the head cheerleader to inspire people to donate during the events, and often is the biggest benefactor, offering matching funds for donations.
I've said this before but it always bears repeating: I do not believe that war is the way for civilized people to settle differences. It's anachronistic and barbaric. My actual opinion of war is much lower than it even seems on the surface; in almost all cases going back thousands of years and remaining true today, the true causes of war are not what the people in charge of them use to justify them, and are simple acts of greed for land or other resources. The victims of war are rarely the people who declare conflict, but rather the civilians of the areas in which war takes place, and the military who fight on the orders of others. Many of them are honorable people who are fighting for causes they are told are worthy, and at least in America (and probably elsewhere), the soldiers and sailors and other personnel who are traumatized by war -- both physically and mentally -- are rarely offered the level of treatment and care they require upon finishing their service.
That's why despite being as anti-war as anyone you'll meet, I'm more than happy to help out by offering my time and money, and my ability to call attention to this cause. Homes For Our Troops has the specific mission to build and donate specially-adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives. Most of these veterans have sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). If you want to learn more about HFOT, the video below explains it well.
Me vs. Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame
As I mentioned, these fundraising events are held on the last Sunday of the month. When I've done them in the past, I typically get a pretty decent crowd. I knew going into last night's show, however, that my crowd appeal as an entertainer had some rather stiff competition. It seemed that everyone I knew -- literally everyone -- had planned ahead for this weekend to watch the final chapter in Marvel's Avengers film franchise, or in particular to the time slot of my show, were watching the latest episode of HBO's Game of Thrones. Obviously, that's fine with me; I know what it's like to be wrapped up in some kind of entertainment and to forego other things that I'd ordinarily be doing.
Veterans Isle is the perfect place for the monthly Homes For Our Troops fundraising events. Thanks for your service, folks! Photos by Kat.
Despite that, we had some great people there at Veterans Isle supporting the cause and donating generously. In fact, by the time that the event's four live entertainers (Nina Rose Setner, myself, Neo Maximus Brandenburg, and Donn DeVore) wrapped up, L$125,000 was donated. that's somewhere around $500 USD, and while that won't be building any veteran a home on its own, it's a substantial amount to kick in to this cause for the month, and I'm happy to have been a part of it.
HFOT set list...
Pigs on the Wing -- Parts I & II (Pink Floyd)
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Bag of Nothing (They Stole My Crayon)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
Ripple (Grateful Dead)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Comes a Time (Neil Young)
You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King)
Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (Steely Dan)
In My Time of Dying (Traditional)
America (Simon & Garfunkel)
Huge thanks to everyone who came out to the show to help support this terrific cause!