Good News Garage Donation Helps Vermont Bands
Thanks to Good News Garage, music in Vermont now has a new private jet (at least in its own mind!). GNG's donation of a fifteen-passenger Dodge Ram 3500 van to Big Heavy World is opening doors - and freeways - for musicians and fans.
Michael Muzzy, director of Good News Garage, helped Big Heavy World with the van donation to support the organization's desire to ferry rural teens into Burlington to attend all-ages concerts and to create a resource for Vermont bands who might be unable to tour without use of a vehicle like this. Muzzy says, "Good News Garage is all about empowering economic opportunity through transportation independence. We are proud to partner with Big Heavy World to help create a tool that youth can use to make their dreams come true."
Big Heavy World has coordinated sharing the van with The Hub Teen Center & Skatepark and Living Well, a senior living facility, both in Bristol. "We're lucky to have such a valuable resource and, like with our projects and radio station, we're trying to create the most benefit possible for the community," says Jim Lockridge, Executive Director of Big Heavy World. "Good News Garage has made wonderful things happen with this donation."
The van required minor maintenance work and new tires to become road-worthy. A contribution of service by Hometown Tire and Auto in Williston helped make it ready for use.
The first musicians to benefit from touring with the van were Crucial Times, a Burlington-based hardcore punk rock band who took it to the midwest for a ten-day, 2,000 mile tour. Mikey "Mikey X" Wierzbicki, guitarist, says, "Crucial Times was very honored to take the van on it's maiden journey. I'm sure it wasn't stoked on our smell three days in though! In all seriousness that van is incredible, it brought us from the east coast to the midwest, to the tip of the south and back and never once gave us a problem. This is an invaluable tool for Vermont bands and many others, so big ups to Big Heavy World for hooking that up!"
The van will be in use by the three community organizations or on the road with bands through February 2011. In November, UK-based The River Card will join Vermont's Unrestrained on a tour to California and back. Unrestrained frontman Ryan Krushenick says, "The biggest thing holding bands back from touring is transportation... a van like this is EXACTLY what Vermont music has needed to get itself out there and represent itself!"
The van, white, has a vanity license plate of "HEAVY 1." Look for it on the streets of Burlington... and Los Angeles!
About Big Heavy World: Founded in 1996, Big Heavy World is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers who are devoted to creating community among musicians and promoting and preserving Vermont music for current and future generations to enjoy. http://www.bigheavyworld.com
About Good News Garage, a program of Lutheran Social Services: Good News Garage repairs donated vehicles and provides them to low-income families in need to assist them in gaining access to jobs and other economic opportunities. Contact 877.GIVE.AUTO or www.GoodNewsGarage.org.