by Josh Flanders, Director of Development

As the new Director of Development, I am thrilled to have recently joined the Guitars Over Guns family. Our 2nd Annual Jimmy Ranoha Memorial Golf Tournament at the picturesque Pine Meadow Golf Course in Mundelein was a huge success! The picture-perfect day featured 18 holes of golf, followed by a delightful evening of music, dancing, delicious food, and amazing auction packages, including a 3-bedroom vacation home on St. Johns island and a 3-day stay at an oceanfront resort at the Mandarin Oriental Canouan, raising over $75,000!

Friends of Guitars Over Guns danced to music by The Shades featuring our very own Andrew DeMuro, mingling with friends, and getting fun pictures in our photo booth. Board President Bob Bernstein introduced the Guitars Over Guns team, including Andrew our Regional Director, who shared memorable words about the impact of our music mentorship programs and the dynamic, creative youth who tell their own stories through music rather than rely on the “single story” the media perpetuates about youth in Chicago. He also shared an incredible video montage featuring music videos produced by youth at all three of our Chicago program sites in 2018!

Ricardo Flores, a Guitars Over Guns mentee and rocking bass player, received the “Gimme a Jimmy” award in recognition of his accomplishments during four years in our program, as a supportive and positive force with other youth, and as a future leader. Ricardo joined The Shades onstage for the first time ever, followed by Chad on trombone and the legendary Augie Haas on trumpet. Ricardo is now a freshman in high school and will continue to return to his middle school alma mater to help mentor other youth.

We could not have pulled of such a wonderful evening without the help of our Guitars Over Guns family and golf host committee including Jeff Schomisch, Denise Hrajonha, Mark Osmond, Pam Weston, Megan Kesler, Scott Jacobson, Bob Bernstein, and Andrew DeMuro. For the second year in a row, the Title Sponsor of the event was Constructive Companies, a division of Fay Servicing. Many thanks to our other sponsors, including: Gelber Group, FON Advisors, Pine Meadow Golf Course, Four Seasons Punta Mita, Abt Electronics, Denise Hrajnoha, Breakthru Beverage Group, Lagunitas Brewery, After the Whistle, Catered Productions, Ridel Manufacturing, Mandarin Oriental Canouan, Michael Krienik, Weston Family Foundation, The Shades, Volton Bicycles, The Lock Up, Fields BMW, and Berman Star Nissan.

We look forward to continuing the celebration for our 10th anniversary at the annual Choose Your Sound benefit concert in Miami on November 10th!

Photos by Dennis Thompson, Braxton Washington, and Ben Michael


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