We became friends and stayed in touch, but John's not the type to seek charity, so it was only through a 3rd party that I was alerted to this situation.
In 1995, John was in his twenties when he opened Thomas Musical, a small store serving the greater Santa Cruz area with instrument, sheet music, and accessory sales along with private lessons and repair services.
Small music retail stores have been beset with challenges that closed the two competitor music stores, but with his business integrity and quality repair service, John managed to continue serving the community despite losing most of his retail business to Internet discounting. He was forced to down-size his staff and then to eliminate his retail instrument and sheet-music activities and eventually to relocate into a lower-overhead, service- and repair-only warehouse.
All of this while also founding and directing the Santa Cruz City Band, and repairing & donating instruments, time, and travel expenses to support band programs in Santa Cruz' sister city, Alushta, in Crimea (Russia).
During one of these trips, John had met Marina, a pianist trained in the Odessa Conservatory, whom he brought to Santa Cruz as his wife. She found work teaching private lessons, providing piano accompaniment to theatre groups and university and high-school students, and becoming the pianist and organist at multiple churches.
Her efforts helped keep the music store afloat and cover the couple's living expenses, but the 2020 Covid lockdowns immediately eliminated almost all of her income. Despite the strain of an increased workload, John managed to keep the bills paid until the California firestorms forced the couple to evacuate their home and business. The fires spared them, but the lost work time and income left them in a deep financial hole that will likely result in their eviction if they cannot cover the shortfall by the end of February.
Please join me in doing what you can to help this struggling, hard-working couple to regain their footing and continue their long legacy of service to the South Bay's musical arts community.
- John Justice
- Terence Leary
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more