Local band Sustain are on a mission to help revive rock ‘n roll and to help families pay medical expenses.
The rockers handed over $3,545 in proceeds, donations and sponsor assistance from their New Year’s concert at the Thornhill Community Hall to the Kimmunity Angels Society who will use the money to cover medication for local families.
The band also gave away thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments and other prizes to youth who attended the all-ages fundraiser concert, including an electric guitar, bass and drum kit.
Calling rock n’ roll a “dying art”, Sustain vocalist Parrish Miller said they’re looking to change that for youth in Terrace.
“It was concerning to us so we reached out to the Kimmunity Angels and said we’re doing a fundraiser and would like to do it for the kids — to keep rock n’ roll alive.
“And also to help people that otherwise can’t pay for the expenses when somebody in their family is ill.”
Sustain has been together for five years, playing an eclectic mix of cover songs and originals.
Miller has been with Sustain for three years now alongside bassist Josh Bolen, Dustin Burns on drums, Stephan Lavoie and Josh McIntyre on guitar. “Auxiliary” Gerry Johnson switches between synth, piano, percussion and vocals.
“We’re about seven different genres of rock. We’re from hair metal to some punk, funk, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac,” said Miller.
“Just songs that people wouldn’t really hear on the radio but they know the artist. Because we don’t want to be the big shiny tunes band, we pick a little from every genre.”
The group gained a loyal following of youth last summer and want to keep that going.
“A bunch of kids came out of the woodwork and started listening to us because they heard us at concerts in the park at the park last summer,” said Miller.
“We found that we have a whole following of kids that just were just like us, that liked rock ‘n roll and when we saw the kids singing with us we knew there was potential and so we started drumming up some interest.”
Kristie Ebeling, executive director for the Kimmunity Angels, said the money will cover about three and a half months’ worth of medications for families in need.
“They have totally changed peoples lived by doing this. I think the support needs to be there for them and for the kids.
“Guaranteed they are going to help a few people who are living with chronic medical conditions, who can’t afford to pay for the medication they need to be OK. So that’s amazing.”
The New Year fundraiser was the second of two put on by Sustain last year, the first was on Hallowe’en.
And they say there’s more to come. In the meantime, they’re excited to see the prizes being put to good use.
“At the end of the night we had three happy kids that probably will start a band, because they follow us, they know each other,” said Miller.
“I ran into the girl’s parents, they brought the whole family out, their daughter won the guitar and she started getting lessons just last week. Now she’s learning how to play guitar.”
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