DrumsForCures :: drumSTRONG

Rating: 4.75 stars   20 reviews

Issues:

Location: 725 Providence Rd. #210 Charlotte NC 28207 USA

Mission: DrumsForCures promotes cancer health, education and survivorship support :: through rhythm. We produce the annual cancer health festival, drumSTRONG, showcasing resources available to address cancer concerns and drumming for ridiculously long periods of time… BEATing cancer! Through collaborative efforts, we are making a sound impression on the health complexion of our communities. Join us, the power is in your hands! www.drumstrong.org
Target demographics: All
Geographic areas served: local assistance through global exposure

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Every now and again I find that I have been an accidental eyewitness to something extraordinary. Musically, I was at Newport the night Herbie Mann redefined the song “Comin’ home.” I was at “The Garden Party” when Rickie Nelson was booed. I happened to be in Tiananmen Square in Beijing the day the students occupied it. I’ve come to think of these as “Forrest Gump “moments.

On Saturday May 15, I had another sense of seeing the exceptional when I participated in drumSTRONG2010 at Misty Meadows in Weddington. The event‘s stated goal was to break its own previous record for non-stop drumming, and the cause was raising funds to beat cancer. I know both goals were achieved.
Along the way, the participants experienced something greater than themselves, and that’s always an extraordinary sensation.

First, there was the drum circle experience. DrumSTRONG founder Scott Swimmer rang a gong at 1:45 PM on the main stage, and 200 yards away, the drum circle started up the beat. My son Sean and I wandered over a few minutes later and were motioned to a couple of unoccupied drums in the third tier of the circle. We picked up the rhythm and started to enjoy the process.

I’m not sure I can describe the mental transformation that occurs when you are banging away on a drum in synch with 60 or so others. You get lost in the rhythm; hands never hurt, arms don’t ache and time passes without notice. It’s pleasant, sleepy and mystical all at the same time. The drum circle facilitators would occasionally change the pattern and offer individuals a chance to play a special drum as one became available. I spent my last 45 minutes drumming at one end of a huge bass drum that had been crafted from a wine cask and mounted head high on a sawbuck. On the other end was a woman who seemed the embodiment of the late Cass Elliot. Occasionally, she would vary the bass counterpoint that we were providing for the larger circle, and I would improvise back. It’s worth mentioning that the sum total of my musical training took place on a cello when I was nine, so this was a whole different deal. I was in drum nirvana!

Then, there was the diversity of people who sat or stood in to play. When I reluctantly left the circle in the late afternoon, I focused for a moment on who was there. Families with school age children drummed along side groups of high school and college students. People of all sorts of ethnicities were represented, and the generational mix was even more remarkable. Some drummers were my age and older, and a few seemed to have materialized from Haight–Ashbury and “the summer of love.” Everyone was smiling, or had that “lost in the rhythm” expression.

In his opening remarks, Scott Swimmer used the metaphor “bubbles of love”
to describe the fact that this same activity was happening simultaneously in over fifty cities in twelve countries. There was even a bubble machine that occasionally blew a cloud of bubbles over drum circle, reinforcing the image. (As long as you didn’t think of Lawrence Welk…)
“Bubbles of Love” It’s worth mentioning that drugs and alcohol were noticeably absent from the event (both were expressly prohibited and everyone I saw complied). I drove by Misty Meadows at sunset on Saturday night, and a multicolored tent city had mushroomed between the drum circle and Providence Road. Many people had organized themselves into teams to keep the drumming going through the night and into Sunday.

I planned to return to drumSTRONG Sunday afternoon, but other family activities intervened. We live about three miles from Misty Meadows, and at 5:45 pm, I walked into my back yard and heard a wonderful drum beat crescendo emanating to the North. It rose above the trees, it dwarfed the rumbling of thunder in the distance, and it marked the end of an extraordinary experience that I had been privileged to share. Psalm 95 came to mind - “ Make a joyful noise…” and for 28 special hours a group of individuals came together, and in the interest of beating cancer, they did.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

several occasions in our community- this vehicle is a superb and unique way toraise both funds and awareness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't suggest any changes- I am totally impressed with the entire process.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

wonderful non-profit. i have been involved in MANY and can say i feel that my time spent with this one has really made a significant impact drastically more than others. Have been with the program since the beginning and have watched it grow. It has something special and has the potential to really be BIG. A beautiful organization that touches MANY lives. BEAT CANCER. DRUMSTRONG!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it more well known!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been going to drumstrong since it first started. The atmosphere is great, smiling faces, and people of all kinds. The drum circle really creates a feeling of connectedness with the people you are drumming with. Old people, young children, college students, high schoolers alike keeping various different beats together all in the name of "Beating Cancer". There are several booths that provide information about different medical groups and causes as well as food to raise money for the cause. Another thing that was really cool is the reaction drumstongs impact has had worldwide. The drum circle in Charlotte is broadcasted live on the internet, and people have created drum circles around the world to join in on the event. Great cause with a tremendous opportunity for growth and impact.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My attitude that we can overcome cancer and the impact that it has on our society. As I noticed how diverse of a group there was attending the event, it became clear to me that cancer didnt just affect me, one of my best friends became diagnosed, but it affected everyone there. Eye opening experience, and drumming with thirty other people for the same cause is moving.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would probably start to seek more celebrity artists to support the cause.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I just love drumming with others who want to create change in our society one beat at a time. Drum Strong is a awesome experience and I recommend this event to anyone. Its great for all ages. I look forward to many decades of service with Drum Strong. I drum because I can.. I drum for that woman or that man that finds it hard to stand...using my hands..i fan my energy all over my drum..intoxicating sounds run through the air hopefully to find a cure somewhere. I drum for my Nana. I drum for my dad. I drum so another family won't "have" to be sad.. I drum i in hopes to find a cure..I drum and will continue to be with Drum Strong each and every year.

Ashley

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

different events around Charlotte

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make room to hire under studies or ppl that want to help this cause

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Rating: 5 stars  

I atteneded my first DrumStrong in Charlotte, NC this past year and want to share my experience with this positive, fun, loving event. I volunteered to provide photography services and donate my images to the organization. I was struck by how friendly and out-going all the attendees who I met were. I had intended to spend a couple hours there and ended up staying most of the day. The vendors were friendly, the artists were talented, and the performers were very entertaining. Plus, the guys facilitating the drumming were VERY energetic and fun to watch! I hope to go back again this coming year for another wonderful day!

Images from this even can be seen here:
http://www.carlmillerphotos.com/drumstrong

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results by the feeling I took home from the event as well as hearing the stories of love and support from the cancer survivors that have benefitted directly from this organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them do what they do, because they do it so well!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

DrumSTRONG is a powerful event. The bringing together of so many people to create a beat and bring awareness and resources for cancer programs is inspiring. As a cancer survivor, the time spent at this event allowed me to not only play music, enjoy friends and meet new ones, but to forget about having cancer for a brief time. Music is powerful, creating music with drumming is more powerful and doing it with such a group is awesome. I look forward to this event in 2011 and bringing together more people to support this wonderful cause.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By raising over $600 to help support causes that benefit from Drumsforcure

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get increased exposure from media outlets...an ongoing challenge

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Scott and everyone with drumSTRONG are extremely caring and giving people. I had a drum student diagnosed with leukemia and was only given a couple of weeks to live. Scott assembled a drum circle within a matter of days at my student's house to provide some fun, relaxation and rhythmic therapy for family and friends. It was amazing. He went well out of his way to bring a couple of hours of joy to this young student. We also live close to 3 hours away from drumSTRONG headquarters. Not only that, but Scott was able to use his sources and get an inspirational email from the student's favorite drummer. All of this happened in the nick of time. He passed away only two weeks after the drum circle. The memories of that day will live on forever with me and all of his family and friends. It brings a smile to everyone's face in the wake of such heartbreak and sadness. Thank you to everyone associated with drumSTRONG and especially, Scott.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the impact drumSTRONG had on the family and friends of my drum student who was diagnosed with leukemia.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

no changes need to be made

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I ran a duel roll, volenteer and participant, I enjoyed and was well moved by the love and understanding of the whole DrumStrong event, every body is effected by the cancer one way or another. I lost my Mom to cancer when I was13.... all these years it was hard for me to adjust to her being taken away from me, hoever when I was asked to assist in the event I went with the expectation of some blleeding harts begging for money.... nothing doing! you donate if you want and it is a event to raise funds but most of all it was a place to let your inner feeling flow, I recieved more help by assisting the children that were cancer ridden or survivors than any amount of money i could have spent on therepy....
I took my wife who lost her dad to cancer and when Scott read her preyer cloth and sent the flames and smoke into the heavens you cold see the scares melt away from her hart.
Scott I believe in what you are doing, keep up the great works and carry on Ill se ya at the next one..........

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

person all three times

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it bigger

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

more volunteers

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

yes , seeing first hand the healing spirit among the people.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

warm harted, very emotional

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

Participated in 2010 and had an amazing time. There was such a positive energy throughout the entire weekend. At times, the feeling was overwhelming when I would think of those I have known who have passed from cancer or who are still surviving it. The drumming was great, the bands were great, and the vendors were great! A wonderful weekend "beating" cancer with a wonderful group of people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Feeling motivated to raise awareness for cancer research.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I couldn't think of any changes, I had a wonderful experience.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Drumstrong is an amazing experience for all ages. It takes place in the spring of each year in a beautiful meadow in Weddington.
I have been every year since it started and I take my now almost six year old and 19 year old with me. You can bring your tent and stay all night with a wonderful group of people. It's a very
safe and friendly environment. The drum circle has the most incredible
energy I have ever felt. The first year
we were there we were drumming in
support of my sister who was battling
cancer. I called her from there and let
her hear the drumming. She was so
moved, she said she felt the energy all
the way in Atlanta.
We left the phone line open for 45 minutes while
we drummed and she fell asleep comfortably for
the first time in a while. Now we drum in her
honor. She lost her battle the following November.
I feel closer to her when I'm there, it's a great way to remember her.
As I said it's great for all age's. There are things for everyone from bands, parades for the little ones, and the May Pole.
Most importantly it raises money to fight cancer so

maybe one day it wont be such a horrifying diagnosis.
Come and see for yourself this May. I'll see you there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

?

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not change a thing

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar