Sound System For Our Students

Thanks to the encouragement of our student Anaelle's mom Melanie, I have decided to update this page. She insisted that everyone needs to know where we are today, but at the same time not forget about what we have gone through. So I have decided to keep this page and simply update the cause for funding.

Danny, Beau and I ended up moving five during the first six months after the fire. It was CRAZY! Moving from motel to motel to hotel to temporary housing was never fun, but luckily we have now settled in a permanent home in the Santa Cruz beach flats. Those who know the area know that even though "beach" in the name, it's not a great area of town. To us it's affordable and a year lease so we don't have to move anytime soon. Whew!

Beau was taken back by his mom and we try to see him as much as possible. There were a LOT of tears shed as we said goodbye. He had really become like a child of ours. The bond that was built will NEVER be broken and he knows that we are ALWAYS here for him. It was truly amazing what we went through together and I still believe it was good for him to see that hard work, even in the time of disaster, always pays off. Thanks to all of you, he was also able to see that good things come to good people.

Speaking of good things, we officially opened our new business three months ago: Forte Vocal Academy. When the money came in from my State Farm insurance we had a BIG decision to make. We could either spend the money buying the nice things we had before like a big couch, cal king bed, designer clothes, live in a nice area of town, etc OR we could open our business. When you walk into our house and see the bed on the floor I think it's pretty obvious what our decision was! We took the BIG LEAP!

We took every penny and put into our new business location for Forte Vocal Academy. With the floors still concrete in the vocal rooms, the walls unfinished being painted and the remnants of construction items every where, we opened doors on my birthday February 10th....and we are so HAPPY!

Word has spread and we've seen the business start to grow. To be able to spend all day teaching people how to enjoy the beauty and release of singing is such a blessing! After everything we've been through I now consider some of my students my extended family. I love them so much!

So why do I post today? Well even with every penny invested there are still things that need to be done. We have a showcase for our students May 30th and one of the student's mom, Melanie, asked how we were going to get the stage and sound system done in time. I replied " We're cutting down on our personal spending. No more cups of coffee, eating out or anything beyond our means. All our money goes to the stage so our students can have the best show possible." I guess she was shocked, because she insisted we reach out to the community.

We want this showcase to be a night to be remembered forever in the hearts of all our students. They each have worked countless hours on their performance and if that means that I have to put my pride aside and reach out to the community, then here I go! Danny and I have enough money left to get one speaker and one microphone and finish the stage ( which we made primarily out of the wood from the walls of the previous business we took down. Pretty thrifty right? ha!) What we can't currently afford in time are: another speaker, two cordless microphones, stage lights, spot light, and seating. Any donation amount would help us get to our goal faster. Some people suggested charging for tickets for the showcase like all the other performance companies do, but Danny and I don't want that to discourage anyone from coming to see their friends and family perform. We want to make this open to EVERYONE in the community...and we can do that with your help.

You DONT have to donate money to help! Here's 5 ways to help:
1) Share this page! Simply click the "share" button to the right and VOILA you have helped!
2) Share our website! The more early sales we get, then more funding we have to get the stage ready to rock! simply copy the link and post to your page:
3) Sign up for Singing Lessons or our upcoming Day Camps! Mention our go fund me page and well give you a free Forte Vocal Academy shirt as a thank you for funding our stage!
4) Donate to our fund. 100% of the money from today on will go to our stage and sound system so our students can truly display their talents at our upcoming showcase.
5) Do ALL of the above! If you do all of the above then i will personally give you the BIGGEST HUG ever and also recognize you all over our social media and even at the Student Showcase! You Rock!

Once again I want to thank everyone who has helped us through this journey. Danny and I are making plans with different schools, churches and communities to donate our services for free to their students and children in low income situations. We're also working on getting to green light on setting up some student scholarships as well. Giving back has ALWAYS been a priority in our lives and after all that has been given to us during this chaotic year, it seems like the one phrase fits it best...

"What goes around, comes around"

Four months ago we took our nephew "Beau" into our home so he wouldn't end up in foster care. Coming from a situation that was obviously unhealthy for him, we took him in with no personal experience taking care of kids. In the 4 months that we have had him, not only have we grown, but we have been getting nothing but honors from everyone that has an influence on the not so little 9 year old. He has made such an improvement in school and other social activities, that we are being called the parents by accident in some cases, lol. Even by those that have known beau for a while. And just when it seems like everything is FINALLY fitting into place after such a whirlwind of life disasters being shoved in our faces, our house catches fire.  

Friends we truly NEED YOUR HELP! We are officially HOMELESS!! A fire destroyed the downstairs unit and rendered our home uninhabitable with smoke damage and fire damage at 3 key areas of the house. This means WITHOUT any notice we no longer have a place to live! 

With Beau in our care still, we are having MAJOR difficulty finding a new home so quickly. To make matters worse, we were running our business out of our home (Forte Vocal Performance Academy, private singing lessons for kids). Which means this fire has taken our home, our business and our income. 

We are trying our best to keep our heads up and to look at this as a blessing in some way but we need to do something we are not very comfortable doing......
Ask for help! 

Anything and everything helps. Red cross has put us up for a few days but not sure what we will do after that and we simply CANNOT allow this great little kid to enter the foster system.

Thank you for reading
  • Paula Canales 
    • $20 
    • 80 mos
  • Melanie Astles 
    • $1,000 
    • 80 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 84 mos
  • Denise Bellows 
    • $120 
    • 85 mos
  • Tiffany harmon 
    • $500 
    • 86 mos
See all


Audrey McDonald 
Santa Cruz, CA
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