The Blue Star Connection mission is to provide access and ownership of musical instruments for children and young adults with cancer and other serious life challenges. To date the GCBS has reached hundreds of kids and have donated musical gear to over 25 Children’s Hospital Music Therapy programs, as well as several other community programs.
What is Blue Star Connection?
The Blue Star Connection program is dedicated to bringing music into the lives of children and young adults who are fighting cancer and other life-challenging situations. Not only does Blue Star Connection work with musical therapists in various hospitals and clinics, but BSC also hosts fundraisers and benefit concerts in cities around the USA in order to support it’s cause.
How Did Blue Star Connection Start?
On August 14th 2005, the Grand County Blues Society was performing for the Shining Stars Foundation, a local group of children fighting cancer. After the show, John Catt struck up a conversation with 17-yr-old Colin Connors, a cancer patient from Denver, about playing guitar. When John asked Colin if he had a guitar of his own, his reply was, “Yeah, a beat-up, old acoustic.” John asked him if he would play an electric guitar if he had one and Colin answered, “Anything to brighten my day.” “What color?” John asked. Colin looked at his mom, who smiled and said, “Baby blue, like his eyes.” The two exchanged a glance that only soldiers in a battle can share and that look spoke right to Catts heart. Less than a week later a local musician showed up with a baby blue Ibanez guitar and amp. – a good deed was that simple.
A few weeks later, John received an email from, Larry McCleary, doctor for The Shining Stars Foundation, who had worked with Colin and other children with cancer for decades. His message was profound; he had seen a dramatic change in Colin’s outlook.
In the weeks ahead, John and the Grand County Blues Society received messages from Colin that he had found other kids his age interested in learning music. In a few months, we had 5 new kids. It was then that a community of people knew Blue Star Connection was born.
“For a child who is seriously ill, having an instrument can not only be fun, but also can help them relax, cope with their experience, talk with therapists and improve their sense of self-worth.”
– Lauren Servos, MT-BC, CCLS
Music Therapist at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health (Indianapolis)
Our Blue Stars
We have provided guitars, bass guitars, harmonicas, violins, keyboards, flutes and drum kits to more than 60 kids in the program. We have Blue Stars in Colorado, Texas, California, Washington, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, South Dakota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona and once upon a time, a beautiful girl named Sneha from New Delhi India.
Maria Chavez President Grand County Blues Society and board member for fourteen years said, ”It never ceases to amaze me how a group of like minded people can take a small seed and turn it into such a beautiful flower of life and hope through giving.”
The first few Blue Stars chose the name: “Blue” for our favorite music. “Star” was chosen because our kids are all Stars. “Connection” was chosen because we connect these children to music and to each other.
We have lost seven of our Stars over the years. They are always with us as Blue Stars and their loved ones cherish the instruments that brought some peace and music into their lives. Our Blue Star from India, Sneha, was working on our logo before she passed away. She said it is the symbol that defines her vision of what Blue Star meant to her and we continue that vision today. John Catt was completely moved by her sentiment and turned that drawing into the logo of today.
Today the Grand County Blues Society and The Blue Star Connection has touched the lives of many. They have donated over 700 instruments throughout the country including 25 Children’s Hospital Therapy programs in nearly two dozen states. Their musical generosity has helped improve the lives of hundreds of kids and their families.
The Blue Star Connection (BSC) is a program of the non-profit organization Grand County Blues Society. If you would like to volunteer, donate or find out more, please contact the organization and become a Blue Star Guardian. More stories and links associated to the Grand County Blues Society visit Winter Park Times.com