While I don’t use Facebook and other social media platforms (WHY I don’t use them is a subject for another time), I recognize their power to help do many positive things.
Yesterday, Bob Thompson, a friend of mine in England, told me about “The Acrobat Challenge,” something that is going viral on Facebook to help raise money to help 26 year old trombonist Stephen Sykes beat cancer. Stephen is the son of Steve and Joanne Sykes, friends I met many years ago when I was in England helping to raise money to build a school in Ethiopia through a great effort called Brass Band Aid.
Young Stephen has been diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and is in need of treatment that is not covered by Britain’s national health insurance program. Through the power of social media, nearly £100,000 has been raised in one month, an extraordinary show of support for this family.
You can read about Stephen and his story HERE. And here is a photo of Stephen at Royal Albert Hall in London with Sting, just before he became ill.
The word about this has been getting out through people taking “The Acrobat Challenge.” It’s a fun little project for trombone players – and any musician, for that matter – to make a short video playing “The Acrobat,” then make a donation in any amount to Stephen’s gofundme fund to help pay for his treatment, and then nominate three more people to take “The Acrobat Challenge.”
Click HERE to join “The Acrobat Challenge” Facebook group and upload your video. Everything you need is there, including the music to “The Acrobat.” You can also make a donation to help Stephen without making a video; just go to his gofundme page by clicking HERE.
Since I don’t do Facebook, I uploaded my video to YouTube and you can see it below, or by clicking HERE to open the video in your web browser. I also made a donation to Stephen’s gofundme account; I assure you that this is a fine, honorable, trustworthy family and your money is going to a very, very good cause. I decided to mix things up a little and I recorded “The Acrobat Challenge” on my 19th century buccin, a dragon bell trombone made in Lyon, France by the maker Sautermeister:
Please join me in taking “The Acrobat Challenge” and help young Stephen Sykes beat cancer. When you look at the videos that have been posted, you’ll be very happy to join with people around the world in this worthy effort.