“Bring on the rain, it will be cool” was the mantra Saturday night at Northview High School in Johns Creek GA. Fortunately the rain held back, but the kids of WillStock 2012 certainly did not. WillStock , the Music Festival for the kids, through the kids an by the kids, was held for the 2nd year in a row at Northview High School, in Johns Creek, GA, to raise money for the Will To Live Foundation, a nonprofit charity that has been working with kids to help raise teen suicide awareness in all our communities. The Foundation was established back in Oct 2010 by the Trautwein family (also of Johns Creek) after their 15 year old son Will took his own life. “For almost two years now, the Will to Live Foundation has been working with the kids or our communities to inspire them to turn to each other in times of need. WillStock is the signature event for the kids and it was a huge success” said John Trautwein, the Foundation’s President.
Like most activities of the Will to Live Foundation, the event was organized and implemented by “the kids.” Shubham Khdam and his army of high school teenagers organized this 4 hour music festival where over 17 bands played to a crowd dominated by kids who were there from start to finish! Shubham summarized the “feel good” atmosphere perfectly “The quality and fun of the event this year was monumental – even better than last years WillStock, and that can only increase as time moves on. Seeing all my friends there supporting me (behind the scenes and on-stage), the performers, the foundation and most importantly, themselves, gave me an immense sense of satisfaction and happiness. It was truly a mystifying night.”
WillStock’s goal this year was to raise over $15k to put right back into the community and school system via the “Signs of Suicide” program that the Will To Live Foundation is funding for all of Fulton County high school and middle schools. “We are so thrilled to report that we beat our goal and raised over $18k” said Trautwein. The money was raised through ticket sales, souvenir sales and from some very key sponsorships from local and national businesses & organizations. Locally based Music Matters not only donated the stage and all the musical backline equipment, they also donated the time of their production, sound and lighting engineers to really give this event a professional feel – and the kids a night to remember.
The Foundation and all the attendees were very impressed and thankful to Music Matters in particular. “Music Matters was simply fabulous,” continued Trautwein; “and we are so proud of our partnership with this wonderful business here in N. Atlanta. Not only was Music Matters a favorite of our son Will, they are a favorite of so many of the local kids here who attend their “Rock U” program throughout the year – something that the Foundation is going to help sponsor this year.”
The Will To Live Foundation is so proud and thankful to have been able to work with the community and Northview High School to give these kids a wonderful night to remember! The Foundation truly believes, and the kids verify it every day, that no-where is the concept of “HOPE” more present than in the eyes and heart of our friends, and that’s what this foundation is promoting. John Trautwein concludes: “Saturday night you could simply feel it everywhere, these kids were truly enjoying each other and simply “Letting It Be”… Love, hope and an increased Will to Live was plentiful at this years WillStock, and we are so proud and so thankful!”
Love Ya Man!
Quotes from the Night
“It was just a night with no worries, no pain, and no stress. A night where everyone could be together in peace, and just enjoy themselves while spreading the message of love and hope. It’s hard to explain how amazing Willstock was, but it was one of the best nights i’ve ever had. I know Will was happy about this one.”
– Tommy Trautwein
“Willstock is one of those events that make you truly happy to be alive, which Is what the foundation is all about. Being up there on stage and being part of that atmosphere was absolutely amazing. There’s truly no other feeling like.”
– Blake Kole
“It was one of those times where everybody could come together by wills spirit as well as the spirit of music. No matter what cliques or groups they were in, they were unified for one great night of joy.”
– Ryan Mickeydee Mcdaniel