MILWAUKEE - Looking to strike a chord with donors, in April, Guitars for Vets endured a website crash at the worst possible moment. Monday night, June 21 offered a chance for the Milwaukee-based nonprofit to catch up – with the "21 Gun Salute" concert fundraiser.
Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery featured bands and success stories all evening as the nonprofit aimed to spread its healing work even farther across the world.
"A true rock and roll soiree, as I like to call it," said Patrick Nettesheim.
Centerstage in downtown Milwaukee is where Nettesheim and the Guitars for Vets nonprofit are most comfortable, where harmony is more than a combination of notes, but healing for the men and women that have served our country only to battle PTSD after coming home.
"There's always room for growth, even at the end of one's life, and sometimes that just might be a simple song that helps someone see the light," said Nettesheim.
So on June 21, in a nod to the 21-gun salute, the Pabst Brewery hosted the "21 Guitar Salute," featuring bands, food, a silent auction and more to help allow Guitars for Vets to continue its mission, teaching veterans battling PTSD how to manage it through music.
"They have, I think, over 110 locations right around the U.S. with over like, 500 teachers that volunteer their time and do it, and it makes a difference," said Dave Jewell, Yamaha Corp. of America.
Also making a difference is local support like the hundreds of guitar donations from Kraft Music and Yamaha Corporation of America. Monday's fundraiser will provide the majority of the nonprofit's funding for the year, helping continue the mission of musical therapy and serving our veterans.
"We're talking freely on this," said Jewell. "It's because of them that we're able to do it, so we need to support them now when they come back and do that."
If you couldn't make it to Best Place, Guitars for Vets is taking donations on the new and improved website.