Since 2015 over $20,000 worth of music equipment repairs and donations to more than 20 music programs in Arizona.
Public school budgets are being slashed left and right, and music programs are often the first to go. Music programs are seen as a luxury, rather than a necessity. However, music education is essential for children’s development. It helps them to develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and self-expression. It also exposes them to different cultures and helps them to appreciate the arts.
founder Paul Sokol became compelled to stand for youth music education in public schools. He saw the problem above and chose to do something about it.
Armed with nothing more than a dream of a heavy metal festival for charity, he quickly partnered up with Club Red owner (then lead sound engineer) Paul Benson to throw the first Dead Of Winter Fest at the beginning of 2015.
Shortly after, they brought a third partner into the mix: legendary music scene “father” Griffin Kolinski.
The rest is history…
The first Dead of Winter Fest was a resounding success, raising enough money to donate a set of handbells, two full boxes of reeds, and a few bottles of valve oil to Whittier Elementary, the closest school to the festival venue.
Tragically, the world lost Griffin Kolinski shortly after the first Dead of Winter Fest. To ensure his memory lives on, the Dead of Winter Fest has an annual #ForTheFather award that is given to one band who represents the artistry of what Griffin stood for. Despite this loss, the cause continued on. In 2015, Keep Children Rockin became a formal 501c3 non-profit with a founding board of Paul Sokol and John Odell (the guitarist from Sokol’s college band who is 100% behind the cause).
By 2020, Keep Children Rockin’ had transformed into a full-blown three-city state tour, culminating in a two-day festival in Phoenix. Through these tireless efforts, the organization had donated over $15,000 worth of equipment repairs and donations to nearly 20 music programs across the state of Arizona.
But Keep Children Rockin’s story is not just about numbers. It’s about the countless children whose lives have been touched by the transformative power of music. It’s about the revitalized music programs that now echo with the sounds of young musicians honing their talents and discovering their passions.
So, let the music play! Let the melodies and harmonies inspire us, unite us, and uplift us. Let Keep Children Rockin’s journey continue, enriching the lives of countless children through the power of music.
We provide donations to music programs in a variety of ways, including:
Purchasing new musical instruments. Repairing existing musical instruments.
Providing scholarships for music lessons.
Hosting fundraising events