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The Current

Beat River students raise money for cancer awareness with Guitar Cafe

Josh Buen performs during the Guitar Cafe. Photo by Monica

Music Teacher Paul Everts teamed up with the American Cancer Society and paired them with his guitar classes. They serenaded people of the community with guitar playing while they sipped coffee and ate provided cookies.

 Reservations lasted twenty minutes, and were as cheap as five dollars but people were encouraged to donate more. All proceeds went to the American Cancer Society, including art drawn and painted by Rayne Lemonnier. 

The American Cancer Society is the leading fundraiser for cancer research, and awareness. 

Senior Joshua Buen was a performer in the cafe and the fundraiser really hit close to home with him.

“It was pretty personal for me. My aunt Karen died pretty much a few days after the guitar cafe of stage four cancer so I wanted to do something for her before that,” he elaborated. “In general I think my aunt Karen would be proud, and that filled me with happiness.” 

It appears to have been soothing and peaceful for him to perform for a cause that he cares about.

“Usually when I perform in front of people it’s a bit nerve wracking, but I wasn’t really nervous this time,” he said. “Just doing something like this cleared my mind and I was able to play.” 

Buen was a good fit to play in the event, as he has a long history with guitar, and is still working to improve his skills.

“I got into guitar when I was about five or six and stopped after a little while,” he explained.  “When my dad died of COVID I picked it up again, and I’m starting to get really good at it.” 

Senior Lawrence Herrera was another big part of making the Guitar Cafe happen. Herrera wanted to support cancer research.

 “What made me want to do it was to bring awareness to cancer. That’s the primary reason we started the cafe- to bring awareness, money and funds to cancer research.” 

Despite the fact that he has never dealt with the pain of cancer affecting a loved one, he feels for others that may.

“I know there’s people out there struggling with it right now or their family members are battling with it,” said Herrera. “ At some point I just want them to be where I’m at. Just happy” 

Everts set up the whole event and has a very important view on what the event meant for him and how he hopes that it becomes an annual venue for Bear River. 

“All of us have known someone with cancer so I’d like to see the guitar class continue at the guitar cafe, and that it becomes a part of the culture,” Everts said.

 He was very proud of his students’ performances, and is excited to see new performers do well. 

“We had nine students perform, and we had four that had never performed in public, so I’m exceptionally proud of all of them,” he said. “Months ago they had never played guitar, but now here in April they’re performing live.” 

Everts explained that he believes it was more about moments for the performers and their families. 

“The money is cool, but I don’t always want that to be the goal,” said Everts. “Seeing Mr. and Mrs. Roberts there enjoying their time; Seeing moms and dads there to watch their kids perform- that touched my heart, and if we hadn’t done the cafe none of those moments would have happened.” 

He believes they have done their part and should continue to support research to cure this disease.

 “For us to have cancer in 2023 is a shame,” reflected Everts. “Cancers have been with us forever and for it not to be cured right now is not good. But we did our share; the American Cancer society had five hundred more dollars than they had the day before.” 

Bear River looks forward to many more Guitar Cafes in the future, and wants to do anything possible to help support the American Cancer Society.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Dickie
Jacob Dickie, Senior Writer
Jacob Dickie is a journalist for the, and has been in Online MultiMedia for two years. He is a varsity football player in the fall, and plays for Bear River's golf team in the spring. He likes to spend his free time with friends and family, and enjoys recreational activities like camping and dirt biking. He wants to become a pilot after high school and fly commercially.
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Beat River students raise money for cancer awareness with Guitar Cafe