BOONEVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) — Thanks to a national nonprofit, Owsley County High School students have a set of brand new instruments.
Can’d Aid, the people-powered nonprofit, partners with musicians while they’re on tour to donate instruments and equipment to underfunded and underserved music programs across the country.
Can’d Aid’s founder, Diana Ralston, would say it’s important work to “spread their love of music and the importance of having a creative outlet in their lives. To go in and take a little bit of time and share their story of how they turned this passion into a career is inspiring and uplifting.”
Can’d Aid has partners in four “core” locations where they focus much of their work: Denver, Nashville, Austin, and Hartford. But they don’t stop there. In Kentucky specifically, they’ve made donations to Estill County Schools, Frankfort Independent Schools, and now Owsley County.
Fishing with a Musician, Can’d Aid’s auction, is one of the major assets for funding this program. Their 2023 auction just closed in October, raking in over $30,000. The auction’s pioneer and Kentuckian, Arthur Hancock, served as the Tunes Ambassador for this donation beside his bandmate, Chris Shouse.
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Shouse is a part-time musician, a full-time educator in Lexington, and an Owsley County graduate. He said that when he stepped into the Tunes Ambassador role with Can’d Aid, he knew he wanted to give back to the program that positively impacted him.
“Owsley County Schools has always supported young musicians. Whether it was Mr. Bob Wilson giving guitar lessons, playing songs, or the staff allowing us to play music in our free time at school, it impacted us in a very positive way,” Shouse said. “Being able to visit my alma mater with a bunch of equipment for the theater program, band, and music classes, I had a great sense of pride.”
Can’d Aid works alongside its partners to identify what each program requires. For Owsley County, this consisted of microphones, a class set of ukuleles, and more.
“It’s great to see national programs like Can’d Aid being involved in music programs and supporting young musicians. I hope I can continue to spread ‘do-goodery’ with Can’d Aid in the future,” Shouse said. “Big thanks to Owsley County Schools, Lincoln Spence, Stevi Nolan, Arthur Hancock, and everyone who donated to Candaid to make this donation possible. ”