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Reality TV Rockers, Fall From Grace, Join The Effort To Help America’s Wounded Warriors Of Ward 57

FFG wear T-shirt, September 5th, Bodog Music Battle of the Bands
Finale on Fuse TV

Seattle, WA – Seattle based rock band, Fall from Grace (FFG) have
climbed to the top of thousands of bands in a nationwide competition
for America’s best unsigned band. The competition turned into a
reality TV show hit airing weekly on Fuse TV, www.fuse.tv. Bodog Music
Battle of the Bands is the story of 10 unsigned bands touring the
country as they vie for a $1 million record deal. Battle finalists
FFG, will use this opportunity to help America’s wounded warriors by
joining forces with OPERATION WARD 57.

Ward 57 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington DC
is filled with those that have been torn apart both physically and
mentally from the Iraq war. When approached by Deborah Semer a
personal friend and founder of the Ward 57 national fund/awareness
raising effort the four young rockers were moved to immediately jump
in and help.

In 2006, two nursing staff of Ward 57 created a T-shirt to give their
amputee patients a morale boost and a sense of belonging. When Semer’s
husband SGT Scott Cameron was stationed there as a nurse in January of
07, Semer learned first-hand about the numerous problems facing the
hospital and patient care on Ward 57 in particular. SGT Cameron and
Semer revised the shirt and started this national effort through NFL
player Kerry Carter’s not-for-profit, the Think Big Foundation after a
personal visit by Carter to a young amputee and Seahawk’s fan on the
ward from Seattle.

Members and fans of Seattle’s FFG will wear the WARD 57 T-shirts
during their upcoming promo events, rehearsals and at the live TV
finale in Los Angeles on Sept. 5th at the House of Blues. Whether
they win or not is up to America, however FFG is committed to
educating and recruiting other musicians to support the efforts of
OPERATION WARD 57.

Although there is no political affiliation, there is personal one.
Drummer Kenny Bates of FFG was activated Army National Guard. His
military interest came at a young age of 12 and by the age of 21 he
was one of Washington’s most active cadet instructors teaching
everything from leadership, physical training, team building and
various forms of search and rescue. After high school Bates went onto
serve in the 81st BCT (Brigade Combat Team) and later served as a
combat engineer in the B Company 1st of the 303rd armored battalion.
He was forced to leave the National Guard after developing
encephalitis from the small pox and anthrax
vaccinations.

Bates jumped at the chance to be part of OPERATION WARD 57, “We owe
them this, we are so lucky to get up every day and have the
opportunity to play for our fans. While they are fighting a war,
losing limbs and risking their lives, we are home partying and playing
our music, I want them to know that we are thankful for their
efforts.”

Front man, Tryg Littlefield, envisions the difference that could be
made if just a third of the musicians in the U.S. joined Semer’s
efforts to create awareness for Ward 57. “The changes at the ward for
these soldiers could be phenomenal, if we could all make the
commitment as musicians to educate our fan bases.”

OPERATION WARD 57 T-SHIRTS are $20 and jerseys are $45. Donations and
purchases are tax-deductible. Proceeds go directly to buy items needed
on Ward 57 such as amputee wheelchairs, medical equipment, DVD
players, TVs, movies, music, washing machines and other items.

www.thinkbigfoundation.org/ward57.html
www.myspace.com/fallfromgracemusic
www.myspace.com/ward57
www.bodog.tv/shows/battle/

JOIN FFG and OPERATION WARD 57 AT THESE UPCOMING EVENTS

Wednesday, September 5, 5:30PM
Bodog FINALE Viewing Party @
CJ Brennens, 201 Williams Ave S, Renton, WA 98057

Wednesday, September 5, 6:00PM
House Of Blues, Sunset Strip, Bodog Battle FINALE
Tickets available through Ticketmaster and the House of Blues Box
Office.
For tickets, call (213) 480-3232, www.HOB.com/LA.

FUSE TV will air the LIVE show at 7PM PST / 10PM EST.

Guided by the Eyes of a Blind Concert Patron

Crowd photoThe concert scene in Cleveland is alive and vibrant with multiple choices of venues to check out your favorite genre of music or artist. But how many of these concert clubs in the area are friendly for a people with disabilities? Observing many of our concert clubs and large-scale arenas, positives and negatives flourished throughout downtown Cleveland and its suburbs.

Peabody’s on East 21st and Euclid Avenue isn’t one of the best choices for a person with a disability to witness their favorite band. The venue is extremely small with little room to use your cane or wheelchair and it has cramped quarters for mobility.

The Beachland Ballroom on East 156th and Waterloo Road is another great example of how unfriendly a club is for the physically disabled as the tables are closely knit together, it’s cramped and the lighting is too dim to travel around with any mobility equipment.

Although, these are smaller venues, they must take into account that people of all walks of life will venture into their concert hall to listen to one of the many great bands that frequent Cleveland every year.

The Wohlstein Center at Cleveland State University is one of our smaller arenas that has both good and bad qualities for a physically disabled person to enjoy a concert. Their staff is knowledgeable in helping their physically disabled patrons getting to their seats and helping them to other parts of the arena, but the building isn’t disabled friendly because of its lack of accessibility and wheelchair ramps.

The Phantasy Theatre on Detroit Road in Lakewood has similar qualities being a small club that was formally a movie theatre. The Phantasy has great accessibility for wheelchairs and other mobility equipment, but the aisles are not easily accessible and the staff are like zombies, inattentive to the needs of the patrons.

But not every concert venue in the Greater Cleveland area is awful, or even mediocre. The Odeon, one of Cleveland’s legendary concert clubs, had a great staff that was friendly and helpful to the needs of their physically disabled patrons and seating is accessible both for wheelchairs and blind people. Sadly, The Odeon closed it’s doors a few months ago.

The House of Blues on East 4th and Euclid Avenue is another great example of a smaller club that caters extremely well to its physically disabled patrons. The HOB has an elevator for people with disabilities and it’s staff is knowledgeable of the mobility guidelines for all types of disabilities.

Some of our much larger arenas also receive notable mentions for having great staff and accommodations for people with disabilities.

The Quicken Loans Arena, formerly Gund Arena, has an excellent staff treating its physically disabled clients and their guests like royalty. They allow physically disabled passengers and their guests to circumvent lines and crowds by using an underground tunnel for easy access to their vehicles, special accessibility in and out of the arena and allows for closer seats if necessary.

Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls is also disability friendly, as they have parking lots closer to the main pavilion, golf carts driven by security to get to and from your vehicle and the outdoor facility is easily accessible.

Cleveland’s concert scene can be easily accommodating in some places and quite difficult in other areas for a person with a physical disability who frequently attends concerts.

 

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