Change Happens….

Change happens…I get it…but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Six years ago my mom and I had a meeting with Dave at our local Starbucks.

When I met Dave I was nine years old and I was on crutches because I had dislocated my knee (again). We briefly talked about my latest injury and then started talking about Celebrate Virginia Live (CVL) and its benefactor Project 324.

Dave created Project 324 and wanted to talk to me about being involved. I told him how much music means to me. Throughout my medical journey music has been my constant. It cheers me up, it pushes me, it comforts me, and it inspires me. I enjoyed listening to him talk about his ideas for Project 324, and how he wanted to bring art and music together to enrich our local community and beyond. His dream quickly became mine, and I brought my mom along for the ride.

From the first day I stepped foot on the field at CVL, I was welcomed into the CVL family. Through the years, I went from being the little girl who introduced the National Anthem Singers and Young Marine Color Guard, to the young lady who was the face of Project 324 and an expert golf cart driver.

I have always loved lending my voice to my medical charities, especially Children’s Hospital Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network of Richmond. Through Project 324 I had an opportunity to blend my love of giving back to my medical community and the artist community.

CVL was my second home. There I was just “Megs” the Jr. Officer in Command. I was not Megan “who has medical challenges”. I was never seen as different. I was included in everything from setting up to shutting down and all the craziness in between. I have literally grown up on that field.

I learned so much from my CVL family. Each year I was included in more and more. My favorite was the community outreach. We held a Music Farm to collect used instruments to refurbish them and gave them back to the local schools, we sponsored music therapy camps for children who had lost a loved one, we upgraded patrons “to make someone’s summer”, we held logo contests, gave back to local schools, promoted local voice talent searches, but most importantly I loved working with the radio stations to promote local artists.

Project 324 provided a venue for local artists to showcase their talent. Project 324 gave opportunities to kids, teenagers, young adults, and community music group’s time on stage to sing our National Anthem.

Project 324 had an awesome internship program. Our interns have gone on to do some amazing things. They now hold jobs as event coordinators, community relations assistants, social media consultants and public relations.

This week has been bittersweet for me. CVL has been renamed to Celebrate Virginia After Hours (CVAH) and is under new management. Change is hard, but I am happy our community still has concerts in their back yard.

I will miss the joy and excitement of transforming a field into a concert venue. I will miss the anticipation as the gates open for that first show. I will miss the high fives and sighs of relief when the headliner takes the stage, but most of all I will miss my CVL family.

Dave, Peter, Nate, Dawn, Ray, Kelly, Emma, Ashleigh, Savannah, Hayley, Fran, (all the Matt’s), Christal, Jeremy, Edwin, Tiffany, Thunder Crew, DJ 2 Much, Sharon, WFLS, and everyone I have missed. Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for always being there. Thank you for never treating me different. Thank you for loving me and my family. Change may happen, but you will always be a constant in my life.

As Dave would say….the show must go on

As Peter would say….that’s a wrap

Love, Megs

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Project 324 Might Just Make Your Summer

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Project 324 was founded with the purpose of helping to support arts initiatives throughout the Central Virginia Region. We’re always on the lookout for projects that complement our mission and are anxious to help like-minded organizations anyway we can. Our ultimate goal is to keep the arts flourishing and to bring our community together.

Each concert you might see me up on stage, with my friends from Thunder 104.5 and WFLS 93.3, welcoming our National Anthem singer and the Young Marine Color Guard.  I love showcasing our local talent.

Project 324 started a new tradition this year: After opening the show, we wander through the crowd, and upgrade seats for a number of lucky concertgoers! Seeing the joy and surprise on their faces as part of our “Make Someone’s Summer” promotion has been incredible!

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More Amazing Upgrades 

Congratulations: Ira Roberts, Hunter Helper, Sandy and Patrick McNamara, Nykky Stapleton, Jessi Trainham, Sierra Riedy, Kelly Daum, Doughtery Family, Catlin Chmielewski, Haley Fisher, Nikki Iashbaugh, and Chris Farly

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Project 324 also surprised Samantha Rowland and Bill Carper with Thompson Square Meet and Greet passes.

Come on out to Celebrate Virginia Live to see Dustin Lynch and Craig Campbell tomorrow night and Project 324 just might “Make Your Summer”.

See you at the show…

Megs

I lived it in color – CVL Season is underway

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What a wild weekend at Celebrate Virginia Live. I love the start of concert season. It is hard to believe how much goes into preparing the venue. I still get chills when I leave the site and all we have is a piece of land and then mom turns the corner the next day and the stage is up.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Jamey Johnson show. It was fun to open the show with my new friend Christal Blue from Thunder 104.5 and Mark Clifford. This year I will be also sharing the stage with Jessica and Steve from 93.3 WFLS.

I love talking about Project 324. Our mission is to help the ARTS flourish. We opened the show with Emma Zinck and the Quantico Young Marines. Emma is the reigning WFLS 2014 Country Idol. She is a rising star. She is also a Celebrate Virginia Live Intern. Emma is a senior at Mountainview High school in Stafford. She is incredible and you will be seeing more of Emma this season.

Montgomery Gentry will be here in the ‘Burg in less than 24 hours.  Tomorrow is Military Appreciation and First Responder Day. If you purchase one general admission ticket you will get one free.

I started something new this year called…”Make Someone’s Summer” sponsored by Project 324. After the National Anthem and before the opening act I will be walking around looking for two lucky people to be upgraded. It could be you 🙂

See you at the show..

Megan

Concerts and summer time = The Good Life!

The time is almost here. Tomorrow we kick off the 2014 concert season at Celebrate Virginia Live with Jamey Johnson. I am excited!!! We have amazing acts on the schedule.

6/14 – Montgomery Gentry

7/18 – Joe Nichols

7/19 – Thompson Square

8/1 – Dustin Lynch & Craig Campbell

8/23 – Alan Jackson

9/12 – Dierks Bentley

Project 324 will have a fun booth in Harmony Cove. I can’t wait to see all my friends. Make sure you stop and say “Hey! Megs in the Burg” we can even take a selfie.

I am sorry I have been neglecting my blog. School has been crazy and I cannot wait until it is over next Tuesday. I am ready to get this summer started.

Gates open tomorrow at 5:30. Remember to grab a blanket and bring a friend, neighbor, sibling, or cousin. You are not going to want to miss a minute of this season.

See you out there…

 

Megs

Happy 13th Birthday Megan!

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Megan,

I have hijacked your blog to wish you a very happy birthday. You have brought us so much happiness and joy over the years. Words cannot describe how much we love you. Watching you grow up has been fun and entertaining. You have been through so much in your short life and yet you face it all with courage and a smile.

Everyone that meets you loves the light that you bring into his or her life. You have such a big voice. You lend it to such great causes and you bring awareness to those around you.  You inspire me everyday.

I know you are excited to be a teenager. Enjoy these years have fun and make good choices. You star shines bright and you don’t just follow your dreams you run after them.

We love you,

Mom, Dad, and Alec

Bret Michaels IS something to believe in!

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I have been very fortunate in my role as Junior Officer in Command at Celebrate Virginia Live to meet some wonderful artists. I have enjoyed sharing their stories on my blog and how they have used their success to pay it forward.

Last night was one of the first times I actually became emotional when meeting an artist. When I met Bret Michaels I felt my eyes fill with water and a lump form in my throat. We have both been through similar things medically and just sharing that bond and talking about friends and family with diabetes overwhelmed me. I think if he had time we would have talked for hours. He gives big hugs that just make you feel comforted.

My mom summed it up and said, “He is truly genuine”. I had to ask her what that means. She explained that it means you believe in the message you are spreading and really care about the impact you are making and the people you are touching.

Every winter my Children’s Hospital /Children’s Miracle Network of Richmond holds a Radio-A-Thon. Last year Darius Rucker and The Band Perry gave me items to donate to the silent auction. I was thrilled when Bret Michaels signed a “Chance Dog” for this year’s event. Bret said he was touched I was thinking of others.

I know a lot of people think I am “lucky” because I attend all these concerts and stand on stage with the radio stations, but for me it is about bringing the community together. It’s about giving back and being thankful for all I have been through. I can bring awareness. I have a VOICE that needs to be HEARD!

That is why Project 324 is important to me. Project 324 is about bringing the arts and the community together. Giving kids a chance to live a dream by getting on stage and singing the National Anthem, or a local band getting a venue to showcase their music. Project 324 is about paying it forward. Giving those in our community a chance to use their talents to make a difference in the world. Helping a filmmaker finish that film, providing a scholarship for a child to take music lessons, sponsoring a sports team, or inviting local charities to spread their messages. Every person who comes out to a show is part of making a difference.

Rocking out an RV with Bret is still on my “Bucket List”, but I am not lucky I am blessed that I am part of a family at CVL that allows me to help pay if forward and promote the spirit of giving back to our community through Project 324. You are never too young to make a difference.

Love,

Megs

“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!” – Anne Frank (diary entry, 1944)

Rock My ‘Burg

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Back in March I made my first post of the 2013 Celebrate Virginia Live concert series. I announced how exciting it was going to be to have Bret Michaels join us here in Fredericksburg. I never realized how excited my MOM would be for Bret Michaels to be here in Fredericksburg. I know Bret from Rock My RV. On my “Bucket List” one of my dreams is to vacation out West on a tricked out RV. It is my dad’s dream too.

Well my mom remembers Bret from her teenage years. Apparently she has not forgotten she never got to see Poison in concert in 1987. I told her if I had a DeLorean I would take her “Back to the Future”. For months she has been exposing me to the music of her generation. I am just hoping she does not show up tomorrow night with teased up hair and fluorescent clothing. You should see some of those pictures from the 80s…WOW!

I really like Bret Michaels the artist and the person. He is very charitable. He raises awareness for pets and people. If you have not had a chance to check out his “Life Rocks Foundation” please take the time and follow the link. Every summer I attend a medical camp in Charlottesville, VA called Camp Holiday Trails. Many of my friends at camp have diabetes. This camp is a place for us to go for two weeks to be with a group of people who know what it is like to take medication everyday. For two weeks we can be ourselves and are not defined by our challenges. Through Bret’s foundation he sends kids with diabetes to camps like mine. His Foundation also supports kids with cancer, Wounded Warriors, and pet charities.

I tried to convince my parents to buy an old RV and see if we could get Bret to Rock it while he was here, but that didn’t happen. I don’t have any tattoos, but maybe we can compare heart surgery scars.

I hope you all will come on out and enjoy a night of music in the ‘burg. The weather will be great and the food is always so good. Bring your kids, your neighbors kids, friends of your kids….just grab a blanket and some chairs and make it a fun family night. Tickets are available on line and at the doors. Gates open at 6:00pm.

See you at the show…

Megs