– About 12Bands
When a group of gifted musicians from Augusta, Georgia got together in December of 2001 to perform a Christmas concert and in 2003 released the first 12 Bands of Christmas CD under the nonprofit umbrella of the Imperial Theatre (an arts organization), they could not have imagined where they would be a decade later.The music of 12 Bands has provided “just in time” resources to families being cared for at the Children's Hospital of Georgia. In fact, their efforts have raised over a quarter of a million dollars to support families fighting pediatric cancer. As 12 Bands evolved, the organization became wholly focused on the often unknown, seldom discussed and frequently ignored needs of children and families facing life-threatening cancers.While many cancer related nonprofit organizations focus their attention on funding scientific research to target the “cures,” 12 Bands recognized the many direct and basic needs families face when their child becomes ill. Thanks to dollars raised in the community through performances and donations, 12 Bands is able to help families in several basic aspects of daily living.Does a family fighting pediatric cancer need one-time help with a mortgage payment? Does someone need transportation to and from the hospital, an important visit from Granny, groceries… or just time to relax and escape the debilitating effects of the barrage of chemo and radiation treatments, shunts and portals?These things create the oft-neglected need for emotional healing which is equally critical to a child’s and family’s outlook leading to extending the highest quality of health and wellness, no matter what time might be left. Through music and artistry, 12 Bands has been able to transport the children and their families beyond the immediate pain and uncertainty to “recover,” even if for a short time, their childhood and their family joy.
In addition to the funds raised through concerts that are targeted for basic family needs, artists also perform for the children and their families on site at the hospital. The children, along with their Moms & Dads and brothers & sisters listen to the performances. They sing, play instruments and briefly relax, gaining relief from the treatments that have interrupted their childhood.
The work of 12 Bands not only provides for the direct short-term needs of families, but through the concerts performed, creates educational outreach to thousands of Georgia residents who are made aware of the many forms of cancers afflicting kids. This effort has had an amazing effect upon increasing ‘donor support’ and volunteer recruitment, both growing steadily over the past decade. Add to that the thousands who have attended concerts to support 12 Bands’ independent fundraising efforts, an engaged community of artists, now numbering in excess of 80, and you have the foundation to do great things for families facing pediatric cancer.
Ash Smith – President
John T Chandler – Vice President
Katie Ashley – Treasurer
Leza Witherington – Secretary
P.O. Box 12623 / Augusta GA 30914
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