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PATRIOT BRASS ENSEMBLE INC's Fundraiser:

Support the very first study on the effects of music on veterans in long term care!

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THE STORY:

For seven years Patriot Brass has been improving the quality of life of veterans across the country through our concerts. I personally have seen the difference our music makes, and it thrills me each time I see the joy, pride, and satisfaction our audience members experience. Intuitively many of us know this work has therapeutic value in addition to serving as meaningful entertainment. What if ... we could prove it?! Patriot Brass musicians have performed scores of concerts benefiting thousands of elders in veterans homes nationwide. We have established an efficient and cost-effective model for delivering high-quality musical entertainment to a group of people who desperately need something positive in their lives. Everyone involved in our small organization agrees -- we should do more, we want to more and we could do more. We have a network of hundreds of talented musicians from coast to coast, an audience that loves our product, and a partner in the VA and state homes that appreciates our service. So what’s stopping us? What we lack is funding, and to attract more funds we need to step our game, organizationally. To attract institutional funding -- i.e. foundation and corporate -- to help us to expand our work, we need data. We need to demonstrate, through data, that our mission works -- that playing live, personalized music for veterans of any age makes them happier and gives them something to look forward to, and I believe it does! I really do. However my opinion alone does not count for much in professional and academic circles -- some might even say I am biased! The good news is we know what we need to do. We have teamed up with researchers at the University of Rhode Island and we have developed a 2-part evaluation to study the impact of our concerts. In addition to hopefully confirming what we know, anecdotally, to be true in regards to our impact, we will gain valuable insight that will help us to make our program and organization stronger. The hundreds of musicians and volunteers who have helped us to succeed over the past seven years have made a big difference in many lives. But this is not about how many lives, this is about the quality of each life we impact. When we recently performed at the Bergen County, NJ Veterans Home, I had a Veteran tell me “I would travel 1000 miles to hear that again,” I get choked up just thinking about it. I know the power of this music, I have seen it for years, especially with our repeat performances where the staff and Veterans know how great the music is. It is all too rare to hear music of the high quality our musicians offer in a long-term care facility for Veterans, so the staff sometimes goes far out of their way to make it happen on a return trip by our incredible artists. I am confident -- based on discussions with professionals in the fundraising and social services fields -- conducting this evaluation will put us on a much stronger footing to raise more money, increase our capacity, and to bring us closer to our goal of performing at every veterans home in the Unites States annually. We need to raise $8,000 to conduct the first phase of the evaluation, which we plan to commence this August. Results should be available by October. Today, I am asking for you to support a project that will strengthen the mission of Patriot Brass Ensemble for years to come. Thank you for your commitment to our mission! Sincerely, Steven Behnke, Executive Director

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