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  • Slash to Perform for Shred Kids' Cancer Charity

    Tue, 23 Nov 2010 08:42:00

    Slash to Perform for Shred Kids' Cancer Charity - Charity founder appealed to the guitarist via a letter

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    • Guns N' Roses - WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Musician Gilby Clarke of Guns N' Roses attends the BandFuse: Rock Legends video game launch event at House of Blues Sunset Strip on November 12, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.
    • Guns N' Roses - WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Musician Gilby Clarke of Guns N' Roses attends the BandFuse: Rock Legends video game launch event at House of Blues Sunset Strip on November 12, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.

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    The power of persuasion is a valuable tool. Teagan Stedman, founder of the nonprofit Shred Kids' Cancer, managed to convince legendary guitarist Slash to perform at the Rock Nation Monster Showcase The Highlands in Hollywood on Saturday, December 11, 2010. The proceeds from the show will be donated to the charity.

    Stedman managed to get the top-hatted guitarist to commit to play based on a very personal plea, portions of which are posted below.

    "You know those times when you are having a nightmare and you're falling or something is chasing you then you wake up and think, 'Whew! It was just a dream!' For a lot of kids unfortunately there is no 'Whew!' at least for a long time. They have cancer. An almost endless nightmare.

    Ask my friend Alex who recently fought cancer (non-hodgkins lymphoma). He went through many doctor visits, hospital stays, 2 years of chemo treatments, a lot of intolerable pain and months of nausea but he finally got to wake up.

    My name is Teagan Stedman and I was inspired by my friend Alex's difficult struggle with cancer. Rather than just saying, 'Are you okay?' all the time, I decided to do something about it. So I founded Shred Kids' Cancer, a charity dedicated to kids helping kids fight cancer.

    While Alex is doing just fine now, I have heard many kid's stories about this horrible disease and some with not such wonderful news. Every school day 46 kids or two classrooms full of kids are diagnosed with cancer. The good news is due to research, survival rate has increased from 50% to 80% since 1985.

    However, we need to continue to "Shred" Kids' Cancer for those who are still suffering.

    I wanted to help kids like Alex and was willing to do just about anything but found that many organizations (who are totally awesome in their own way) only offered a way for me to help by either attending a really expensive fundraising dinner that was mainly for adults, or to run in a 10K or to just give money. I was totally ready to do those things, but not so many of my friends were. Shred Kids' Cancer is different than other charities in that it provides a unique way for kids to participate and really get creative and use their skills to help other kids who are suffering from cancer. Here is a great example: Recently I was contacted by a friend of a friend named Andrew who heard about Shred Kids' Cancer and wanted to do something to help his friend Andreas Kinickman who is in 8th grade and undergoing lots of chemo and surgeries to battle his bone cancer. Shred Kids' Cancer is the perfect solution for Andrew, as he is now participating by coming up with ways to help: he is working on an advertising committee for Shred Kids Cancer, getting items to be donated and he plans on entering his band in the next Shredfest.

    What is Shredfest?

    For the last two years Shred Kids Cancer has had enormous success with our signature fundraising event called Shredfest. The first Shredfest was in 2009 and was held at The Roxy with the help of Rock Nation School. The next year we were at The House of Blues, Sunset Strip. We will hold another Shredfest with the support of many kids as participants at The House of Blues on Sunset on April 9, 2011. Each year we have had 10 kids bands participate, had celebrity guests on stage performing, held a silent auction featuring many one of a kind products and we have had amazing celebrity guest judges like Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine guitarist), Shavo (System of a Down), Dhani Harrison (Member of TheNewNo2 and son of George Harrison) , Steven Adler (I think you have heard of him) and had other celebrities like Adam Levine and Richie Sambora and Yngwie Malmsteen participate by signing guitars. The money raised will continue to go to help all kids suffering and fund kids' cancer research (Specifically granted to the Pediatric Oncology research going on at under Dr. Kathleen Sakamotos' team at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA).

    We also hold other events such as Shredfeast (diners eat at a participating restaurant and part of the sales go to Shred Kids Cancer) and Shredcamp (a bootcamp fitness sponsored by Lulu Lemon where proceeds go to Shred Kids Cancer) and other types of events benefiting Shred Kids Cancer. This year we hope to add to our roster and have other events such as Rock Nations Monster Show on December 11 dovetail into benefiting Shred Kids Cancer.

    While Shred Kids Cancer has been growing, during these difficult economic times it was getting harder for corporations to be generous and it was harder to get their attention. I wanted to take Shred Kids Cancer from glorified lemonade stand status to legitimate non-profit foundation. So this summer I researched and Googled and found out how to become an official charity. I wrote a business plan, and budget, filed articles of incorporation for non-profit with the State of California, Got a Federal ID#, Created Bylaws, got a board of directors, Filed a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State, Filed with the Attorney Generals office for Charitable Trusts, Filed form 1023 with the IRS for 501(c) (3) status and held a few board meetings.

    Last year our sponsors not only included generous donations from Guitar Center but we also had Farmers Insurance, Berson Financial, RM Automotive, Lulu Lemon and many more. We would not have been as successful without their generous support. We have commitments to continue our media coverage with KTLA channel 5, NBC, and the Ventura County Star and hope to branch out to Radio Stations such as KROQ, KLOS and Jill FM. In addition we have a website, and Facebook pages and are creating an iPhone app for Shred Kids' Cancer and YouTube pages and will have a red carpet with a sponsor board for photo ops and banners at the event. This year our goal is to raise even more money and awareness then we did last year.

    I am sure you are approached by a lot of amazing organizations trying to get your endorsement. Here is the thing: Cancer Kills. While other charities are amazing and offer ways to improving our environment or giving programs for underprivileged youth or school funding are very very valuable, they do not actually take peoples lives like cancer does. Kids who do not get their fair crack at life are dying from this disease. The ones who do survive are undergoing a lot of mental stress and physical trauma that they will never get back. Yet each and every one of them that I have met are fighters. The money we raise does not go to paying any salaries of Shred Kids Cancer (all of us are volunteers) or even to painting the facilities at the hospital or to getting better coffee machines in the research lab. They go directly to ensure programs at Mattle Children's Hospital UCLA in the oncology department within Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto's team can continue to work to find the cure for pediatric cancer.

    You have no idea how much of an impact your involvement would be to Shred Kids' Cancer. First of all, you are the biggest guitar shredder of all time. Who better to support this? Second, I know when I saw you perform at Sunset Strip Festival in August, I was up front and almost squished to death. Security Guards tried to take me out for my safety, but I insisted on staying and they ended up surrounding me in a protective ring. If I will go to those extremes, I know many of my friends will as well to come and see you. This would mean a sell out at whatever event we work with you on. In addition, it would have a domino effect, lining up sponsors and donors, you have no idea how much of an impact this would be. Plus, your name, Slash is synonymous with Shred.

    Let's try to end this nightmare for these kids."

    Now we know why Slash agreed to play!

    Are you in LA and planning to attend this event?

    —Amy Sciarretto

    For more information, click here!

    Watch our most recent interview with Slash here!

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