The Just Brass Band, a local Southlake youth brass band ensemble, raised $1,300 by playing several concerts in Southlake Town Square during the months of November and December. The concerts were free and funds were raised from passerby who donated to their cause while out and about in Town Square. The funds were donated to Texas Health HEB’s Bluebonnet Retreat Adult Cancer Program.
Carroll sophomore Ethan Jezek formed the group three years ago with other students from Carroll ISD. The Just Brass Band is made up of seven players ranging from 8th grade to 10th grade. The Band has always focused on raising money for medical causes. Last year their focus was Parkinson’s research, and this year their focus will be raising money for breast cancer research.
“Shortly after finishing up last season, my friend and band mate, David Coughlin’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Ethan Jezek, band leader. “Mrs. Coughlin is a teacher at Carroll Senior High School and has been a huge supporter of our band. It’s been a very scary time for David and his family this past year. The Band discussed it and decided to donate the money we made to breast cancer in honor of David’s mother. With her help, we decided that the Bluebonnet Retreat was the best place for our donation.”
Texas Health HEB’s Bluebonnet Retreat has been a special project of the hospital system for 20 years. The Bluebonnet Retreat is the only Adult Cancer Camp in the metroplex and is made possible through an endowment fund from employee and community donor support. The camp experience is free and open to any adult over age 18 who has received a cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment within the past five years.
“The counselors and fellow campers were amazing,” said Kelly Coughlin. “I was surrounded by survivors who helped give me the strength to survive. We shared stories and learned things from each other. By the end of the retreat, I felt like I had gone to a family reunion and met my long lost family members that I didn’t know I had. It’s a wonderful healing experience.”
“Being a part of The Just Brass Band is truly a blessing,” said Walter Gaman, band member. “I love playing music more than anything, and to be able to raise money for a good cause, perform service, and do it all while doing what I love, is amazing.” The Just Brass Band plans to continue its holiday fundraising tradition and will play at Southlake Town Square again next holiday season.