On June 24, I was involved in an accident that would dramatically alter the paths of my professional and private lives - I took a fall which resulted in my tibia and fibula being shattered beneath my kneecap. Thirteen screws and two plates were required to put the pieces of my leg back together.
As is the case with many folks these days, in an effort to stretch my budget I had cut some corners on my insurance at work, foregoing short- and long-term disability coverage due to the financial outlay. I assumed I wouldn’t need them, as up to this point, I hadn’t.
Penny-wise is pound-foolish.
Three surgeries, eight days in a hospital, a month in a rehab facility, anesthesia and medications, appointments with orthopedic specialists, medical transportation services, ongoing physical therapy - not to mention equipment including wheelchairs, crutches, and a walker - all of that, and more, added up. And up!
I had many concerns about being able to pay all of the bills and out-of-pocket expenses, especially after losing so much production work, and having my hours at my regular job cut down sharply because of my inability to be there.
It’s been a learning experience, and a humbling one; an emotional rollercoaster, and an eye-opening situation.
This past weekend, friends, family, clients, and bands teamed together to put on a benefit and raise donations, the results of which leave me speechless. I’ve done a lot of shows along the way, but they took this one to the next level.
Needless to say, at the end of the weekend, I was left feeling both exhausted and with a renewed sense of security. Through the generosity of so many people, the medical bills are less daunting. And when 2020 commences and the insurance billing cycles start over again, I’ll be able to carry on with physical therapy.
I would like to say thank you to Matt and Tammy (Stones Throw) for the idea, for booking, hosting, postering, and more. To Cheryl for the GoFundMe and for her hard work on the benefit and silent auction. To Ryan for his work on the album and video and to Adrian for his work on the video and helping promote. To DigiCopy & Mike Gilles for printing the posters & handbills. To Joe for loaning us the drums, to Bentley and Jen for handling sound, to Teddy for his photography, Irwin for his videography, and to the many volunteers. My heartfelt thanks to Anastasia for her contributions on the GoFundMe, benefit coordination, publicity, the album, the video, the silent auction and every other detail that I’m sure I’m overlooking.
Thank you to Bill Foy/Leader Telegram, VolumeOne, WHYS Radio, Converge Radio, and WEAU-TV.
To the bands: Manifest, Magdalena’s Muse, The Procrastinators, Rhythm Posse, Mojo Lemon, Buck It Up Brass, The Over Unders, Jim Carlson, Transistor Radio, The Jim Pullman Band, Adrian Klenz & Friends, Greg Gilbertson, South Farwell, The Root Tappers, Sue Orfield Band, Cathy Reitz & 7Swing, Tommy Bentz Band, Girl Band, Eggplant Heroes and the Flaming Doublewides. Thank you for the gift of your time and talent. This truly was a memorable and touching weekend. I’m sure we’ll be butting heads over volume levels again very soon. :)
To the people who generously donated items for the silent auction: I was never able to see everything but I saw photos and can’t believe the wonderful items that were there for people to bid on. Your generosity is amazing. Green Bay Packers, Wilder Scratch Kitchen (Chris Hanson), Cheryl Wise, Lori Chilefone, Jennifer Hazen, Amy’s Custom Designs (Amy Schmitz), Brickhouse Music (Tommy & Jen Bentz), Chip Magnet (Alexis Lucas), Jim Carlson, Larry Past, Steve Carlson, Chippewa Valley Band Instrument Repair (Jeff Reitz), Cathy Reitz, Bennett Guitar Company (Dallas Bennett), Clearwater Guidance LLC (Megan DeRosa), Holly Scott Meyer, Manifest (Anastasia Vishnevsky), Adrian Klenz, Jim Pullman, Clearwater Gardens LLC (Tony DeRosa), Jardin de Vies B&B (Sylvie and Doug E. Grosjean-Rasmusson), Stephanie Gunderson, Groome Transportation (John and Shannon Berman), Peaceman Jewelry (Mike Sabo), Marie Past, Nick Foytik and Terri Muenzberg. Please patronize these businesses and thank the individuals.
Last, but definitely not least - to everyone who came to enjoy the music and the unique talents of the Eau Claire music community, to everyone who bid on items in the silent auction, and to everyone who made donations - thank you for your outpouring of generosity and love!
All Photos by Teddy Snider. Click on photos to view full size.