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DrumsForCures :: drumSTRONG

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Public Foundations

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

Programs: To raise and distribute funds to or for the benefit of organizations qualifying whose primary purpose is to promote cancer research care for cancer patients and such other activi

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 John A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Carl M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Joel V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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..........

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I met my college roommate Mason Swimmer four years ago I have been learning about the power of the human spirit. Mason and his father Scott started DRUMstrong after Mason had recovered from bone cancer in high school. The positive energy and mindset that fueled Mason to crush the cancer in his body is now being focused by the two to raise awareness and funds for local and national cancer initiatives. Being naturally inclined to music led to the idea of drums as the universal communicator of this idea. Everyone has a heartbeat, and can relate to rhythm as a form of communication that has been utilized since the beginning of humans.
The DRUMstrong main event in Weddington NC the past 3 years has become a tradition I plan on attending with my own children many years down the road. The people, music and positive energy this event attracts show just how powerful the collective human spirit can be. Each year the 27+ hour long continuous drum circle becomes a gathering place where everyone can participate and drum for loved ones who have been affected by cancer. I feel I become more inspired with each event I attend, as more and more people reinforce the potential for the idea. DRUMstrong acts as a launching pad for fostering other ideas involving the power of rhythm for connecting, healing, and triumph over every aspect of cancer. I feel fortunate to have met Mason and Scott and to be a part of DRUMStrong whenever possible. which happens everyday when I look down at my DRUMstrong bracelet, appreciate a happy healthy life, and think of all those who are not so fortunate.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

drumSTRONG is a great idea executed by someone with no managerial or business experience. Other than companies owned or funded by his Dad, Scott has no idea what he's doing in trying to run an organization like this. His trademark is unprotected, his financials are perpetually late. And worst of all, less than 10% of the money raised at the annual drumstrong event even counts as profit for distribution to those organizations which drumstrong is chartered to help. In short, this is an organization with declining support, declining revenue, declining impact, and badly in need of an Executive Director with a clue about what he's doing.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

drumSTRONG 09/24/2010

This review is riddled with animosity and inaccuracies. Among them :: The % of funds disbursed through our drumSTRONG efforts supporting important cancer initiatives. Revenue is raised by and for participating organizations. 90% to 100% of those funds are donated to their causes. Our board includes respected certified counselors and internationally recognized directors of oncology services. Our staff includes many from successful professional organizations and are 100% volunteers (with good hearts). Jeff Gregory (jagbcl reviewer) was paid to file for the Trademark registration. Financials are in order. drumSTRONG is gaining global momentum daily. We accept and appreciate assistance from competent, giving folks. Yes, an Executive Director would be welcomed. Please visit http://www.drumstrong.org or contact scott@drumstrong.org
for info

Review from Guidestar

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've known Scott Swimmer, the founder of drumSTRONG, for a while now, and this wonderful organization is a testament of how anyone can identify a need and act upon it to make a change in our society. Scott eats, sleeps, and breathes DrumsForCures, working with great desire to raise funds to support cancer research and general awareness, especially within the community. More importantly, funds raised stay primarily in the community and support local initiatives. Held in May each year, drumSTRONG is a sight to behold - a marathon drumming event that exceeds 24 hours (2008 went for 27 hours). The people who take part are just as caring and wonderful as Scott.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

DrumsForCures: drumSTRONG This is a great organization and it's founder Scott Swimmer works tirelessly ongoing to help raise funds to support cancer research and general awareness to the problem of the huge number of people who suffer from this terrible disease. The major event that they hold in May of each year is just a wonderful and heart moving experience. It is a marathon drumming event that this past year went for 27 hours. The people who take part are caring and wonderful souls.

13 drumSTRONG

Board Member

Rating: 5

OK, I know, This could be viewed as a bit biased... I built it; it's my baby; it's my passion; it's my life; and all that... but it's not about me. DrumsForCures :: drumSTRONG works for and because of you. Everybody contributes and everybody benefits. Collaboratively sharing resources, talents and energy. The rhythm element exemplifies and drives the basic, simple beauty of individual and team participation in a project that soundly and positively impacts the health complexion of our communities. Drumming to BEAT cancer! Yeah, I'm thrilled that it works on so many levels; that so many dig it and want to keep the rhythm in motion to bring down the 'c' monster, support survivorship and so many good cancer health initiatives. From local Interest and benefits to the growing global involvement, we're fulfilling our potential good and having fun doing it. Great combination!

13

Volunteer

Rating: 4

wonderful people, outstanding cause and dope beats! The world should be apart of this motivating force. They are growing every year and I look forward to becoming apart of the cure/change/awareness. Dstines CreateDontHateProductions

15

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Drum Strong includes a festival in beautiful Piedmont of North Carolina horse country. Kids are welcome and we dance, play music and drum together-rain or shine.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an spectacular event!!! I had never drummed before and it was a therapy for the soul!!! I highly recommend attending since it is a unique event not only for the drumming but the energies shared!!! See you next year!!!! Marcela

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have attended all of the drumstrong events and have participated as both a volunteer and drummer. The magic of this event is hard to describe. I come away each year with a sense of being part of something wonderful.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The two signature events in 2009 by DrumsForCures raised awareness locally in Charlotte and around the world, about cancer education and raised funds for research. The Not So Silent Auction early this year combined live auction, silent auction, music performances and an extraordinary jam session. The drumSTRONG event - 27 hours of drumming and so much more - brought people together during the May weekend and raised awareness and funds to support the DrumsForCures mission.