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Guitars for Vets Fundraiser in Lakewood 

When: Fri., May 18 2012
Phone: 216-227-7600
Price: free will donations
www.guitars4vets.org
Need an excuse for a TGIF stop tonight? Mike Grega has a grand one: a fundraiser for Guitars for Vets, a national non-profit that puts guitars and instruction into the hands of disabled veterans. Grega, a local musician and one half of the duo Paydirt, founded the Cleveland chapter last November; today he serves as both the chapter’s coordinator and a guitar instructor working closely with local veterans. All lessons are held at the Wade Park V.A. Hospital; medical personnel refer participating vets to the program. Grega says the community has rallied ‘round the cause. “Local musicians, music stores, the Cavs, the Browns, and just people in general have really been great. At this point we have eight volunteer instructors, we’ve given away seven guitars, we have eight vets taking lessons — and we have more on a waiting list!” Tonight’s event happens from 7 to midnight at Lakewood’s Screaming Rooster. “Mainly, it’s a way to showcase our program and our instructors, and raise a little awareness,” says Grega about the laid-back evening of raffles, t-shirt sales, and music by the program’s volunteer musicians. Hosting duties fall to Cleveland DJ Ravenna Miceli. On tap: performances by Safe House, Acquire, Pants on Fire, and popular local guitarist Jeff Sherman. There’s no cover, although free-will donations are welcome. “It’s a way to give back,” says Grega about his involvement with the program. “It’s just my way to say ‘thanks’ for the freedoms we have.” Find out more on the Guitars for Vets Cleveland page on Facebook, or on the national website below.
— Elaine T. Cicora

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