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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Taylor Hicks, got a date for June 25th?

Taylor let's go to Florida!

A little school, the "Apple" in the eyes of parents and students, deperately needing some Soul Patrol help.

I am posting in this an off-chance (probably real off-chance) that anyone in contact with Taylor Hicks happens to come across this post. I know in the past Taylor has worked to benefit the school for autistic children (in my link column) and perhaps he would have time to visit the little town of Lakeland near Tampa, Florida. What a blow out that would be; and for a great cause - possibly save a small school for kids with ADD and ADHD. It would also send a message for the necessity of these schools.

I came across this article today written by Julia Crouse in the on-line publication, The Ledger.com. She covers the story of a small charter school in Lakeland, Florida, deperately trying to stay alive. This school benefits children with Attention Deficit Disorders, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders that are too extreme for the students to gain eduation through regular classroom curriculums.The Apple School has apparently been riding in the Red for quite some time. Initial news of the school's struggles surfaced on May 25th.

The story titled:
Parents Seek Star To Polish the Apple
Group trying to schedule lastminute concert to save charter school.

LAKELAND (Florida)near Tampa, Florida

-- Parents are pinning their hopes on a benefit rock concert to save the Apple School from closing.
So far, no big-name acts have been booked, the venue isn't secured and tickets haven't been printed. But the concert is set for June 25. The charter school's charter ends five days later on June 30.
Apple's supporters are buoyed by hope and a profound desire to keep the school open.
If the parents can come up with $80,000, there's a chance the charter school won't have to close, said Lea Williams, whose eighth-grade son attends the school.
The Apple School opened 10 years ago to serve children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. It was the county's first charter school.

Musicians such as Garth Brooks, Keith Anderson and the Bellamy Brothers, and Bo Bice, of American Idol fame have been contacted. Bo Bice has said he can't perform due to concert dates already booked; he is scheduled to perform June 24 Logan, WV and then in Tampa on June 27, figuring in travel time on the tour bus, time won't permit him to be there but he is donating CDs and T-shirts to sell, all proceeds go to help the school. There are some local bands currently set to perform. Word has not been forthcoming from the other invitees whether they have time to perform.

William J. "Bull" Robinson, of County Line Road Recordsin Lakeland, has been chosen by the parents to book this concert, and he's narrowed the venue choices to Cypress Gardens, the Lakeland Center or Tiger Town. Tickets are to be around $20 per person, depending on who performs. She hopes to attract at least 2,000 people.

(This concert will not guarantee the success in maintaining the school as there are other hardships for the district to work out, but it would send a clear positive message that schools like this are needed, important and necessary to exist for kids that without them may fall through the cracks and lead less productive lives.)

I personally can attest to the challenges of manuevering through a world while dealing with my own Attention Deficit Disorder, focusing on everyday and regular activities most folks take for granted, a real challenge at times. When I was a kid, ADD and ADHD not even heard of (I'm no spring clucker) much less any form of specialization to work with the challenges available.

It would be amazing to have the kind of talent to donate to causes such as this to benefit the programs for children by just showing up and performing a few songs. (What a difference a single life can make, and a single day.) This would send to fans the message of what Taylor Hicks is about - not just a guy driven to riches through putting out music - CD's and concerts for personal gain; but a man with Real Soul, the kind of Soul that is apparent in his music, translated into real life works and actions.

I immediately thought of Taylor when I read this article; trying to rescue this school as maybe being something he'd want to be involved in if he knew about it. (Plus the Idol Tour won't be underway quite yet.) It speaks very well of Bo Bice, that he is providing materials to donate at the show to benefit the school.

contact information for the original article:
e.mail: julia.crouse@theledger.com telephone: 863-802-7536.

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