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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Healing Through Music…

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I find it very exciting waiting to see what artists will be coming to Celebrate Virginia Live. I am always offering up “my” choices to the team. I also know a ton of things must happen behind the scenes to bring an artist to Fredericksburg.

A few weeks ago when Hank William Jr. was announced I started my research. I know I had heard the name, but I wasn’t exactly sure I knew who he was. Then my mom said, “He sang ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL the Sunday night theme”. Yes, she actually tried to sound like the theme song. I looked at her with the “ok” look. Then my brother chimed in and said, “Megan, he sings Family Tradition”. Well why didn’t they say that first. I know that song.  The more I researched and heard his music, the more inspired I became to write my post.

I love music. I love hearing all genres. I also love the way music makes me feel. Music has played a big part in my life. Each step of my medical journey different songs speak to me. Mom calls them my “theme songs”. Music has a big influence on my life. The more I read about the artist I find they also had life stories that influence who they are, where they have been, and where they are going.

When Hank Williams Jr. was 26 his life was turned upside down when he was seriously injured in a mountain climbing accident. Two years and nine major surgeries later, Hank Williams Jr. emerged with a new look consisting of a full beard, cowboy hat, and dark glasses.

I could really identify with what it feels like to recover from a medical obstacle. I spent three years recovering from my stroke. Sometimes it seems like you just want to give up. Hank Williams Jr. could have decided to just fade away, but he took the time to heal and came back stronger proving a “Country Boy Can Survive”.

I hope you will come out and join us July 20th as we welcome Hank Williams Jr. to Celebrate Virginia Live. Tickets are available online at Legends Sports Grille.

Love.

Megs

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

― Albert Einstein

And Speaking of Rock

I love summertime. Going to a concert on a Sunday night and not having to worry about school in the morning? Priceless!

It is going to be a thrilling day at Celebrate Virginia Live. Daughtry will be in the house!

Looking forward to making my rounds in the golf cart, helping to set up and visiting all the vendors. I like to start my day with a Lemon Hawaiian Shaved Ice. They are super yummy. After I work up an appetite riding the bull I head over to Beach Fries for a snack. Before the night is over I have enjoyed some Papa John’s Pizza and my mom stops by the Famous Dave stand. She keeps telling me she is going to gain 15lbs before the concert season is over. She has a weakness for funnel cakes.

Get there early get something to eat and make sure you stop by the 95.9 booth and spin the wheel, see my friends at Job.com, check out the Fredericksburg.com tent, and say hi to Melvin and Anthony Campbell from Fredericksburg Live. You might just find yourself on the CVL Rewind this Wednesday.

Come find me at the Project 324 bull and dunk tank. I will be with the Round Up Crew. I will have stickers to pass out. Don’t forget to purchase your CVL T-shirt. We will even throw in a beverage ticket with each sale.

Time to start getting ready……..see you soon!!

Megs

Thursday’s Weekend Kickoff

Last night started the first night of my three concert run at Celebrate Virginia Live. It was a very HOT day and night, but even in the heat, we had a lot of fun.

The night started with Elby Brass. They are a Fredericksburg local Street Brass Band. When Seth dropped off the cd’s after the show to sell at our CVL Merchandise Table, he was telling us how they started. Their music was really cool. It was a combination of Marching Band, New Orleans Jazz (mom said that), and that old music you hear your grandparents play and they say, “this is what music use to sound like when you used instruments not all that screeching”.

Like I said in my previous post, I was not sure who Bruce Hornsby was, or what to expect. I love the piano and he has mad skills. My mom kept saying I know you know this song. It sounded vagully familiar but I mostly nodded my head and paid attention to how awesome he was on that piano. He made me want to go and start taking lessons.

I am really excited for tonight. I can not wait to see Darius. I will be there early for set up and help get things started. I hope our dunk tank and bull will be there tonight. If you still haven’t bought your tickets, you MUST. This weekend is going to be incredible with Darius and Daughtry. Remember to stop by and say Hi!

See you at the show!

Big Week at Celebrate Virginia Live!

Who is coming out to see me at Celebrate Virginia Live this week?  There are not one, not two, but THREE concerts!

Bruce Hornsby is playing on Thursday, July 26th…

Darius Rucker takes the stage on Friday, July 27…

The weekend wraps up with Daughtry on Sunday, July 29th!

I’ll be at all three shows.  I must confess, I don’t know much about Bruce Hornsby, but my parents like him.  My favorite Darius song is “If I Had Wings”.  My favorite Daughtry song is “Home”.

I am super excited to see everyone, having been out of town the last couple weeks.  Are you ready to ride the bull?  Maybe throw a ball at the dunk tank? I am hoping to go in that dunk tank this week. Besides those, I love riding around in a golf cart while things are getting set up.  I can’t drive them yet, but let me just say I have never flipped an ATV… (*a-hem* Matt H)

The season is wrapping up, so make sure you tell everyone you know to come out. Bring the family and ALL your friends. There is plenty to eat, so come hungry. Tickets are still available. You can buy them online at Celebrate Virginia Live or you can listen to win from Thunder 104.5.

I expect everyone to come say Hi to the Round Up Crew and me.

Junior Officer in Command,

Megs

ZZ Top This!

Hey Everyone! Have you enjoyed the Celebrate Virginia Live concert series so far? It has been a wild ride and I don’t mean just the turns I have taken riding the bull.

I have enjoyed everyone who has performed the first part of the season:

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd and Willie Nelson had songs I didn’t even know I knew. Now I walk around singing, “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and hold up my iPhone lighter app to “Free Bird”.
  • Seeing my friends The Band Perry again made my summer. They are full of life and energy and just make everyone in the crowd feel like family. It was great that so many of my friends and neighbors, including my teacher came out for the show. I have loved meeting everyone that stops by to say hi to the Round Up Crew.
  • I have heard my parents play ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down and on their iPods, but seeing them live was amazing. I must say those beards are pretty cool up close. I had fun bringing my dad and brother to the show and they were really impressed with Gretchen Wilson’s ability to rock out.
  • Colt Ford and Lauren Alaina really know how to put on a great show. I had fun Tweeting with Colt encouraging him to Ride the Bull. Watching Lauren rise from American Idol to touring proves Dreams Really Do Come True.

I love having all these artists playing in our back yard. Nothing beats my 10-minute ride to Job.com Pavilion, great food (Love my Beach Fries, Frozen Ice and pizza), and friendly environment. I am having the best time representing Project 324. All the money raised when you ride the bull or throw a ball at the dunk tank is helping to keep the performing arts in our community. I dream of being on stage someday, and that is why having access to classes to learn your trade is important. A lot of work goes into making the shows a success. Almost everyone you see working the concerts is a volunteer. Volunteering is important. You shouldn’t wait till you are older to make a difference. Have a voice and make a difference in the lives around you.

The next half of the concert series is going to be exciting. I hope everyone will spread the word and join me at Celebrate Virginia Live this month. I can’t believe we are going to see Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Bruce Hornsby, Darius Rucker, Daughtry, and my dad’s favorite Foreigner. Make sure you stop by the Thunder 104.5 tent and spin the prize wheel and then head on over and take a ride on the bull and dunk a Round Up Crew member. We love taking photos with the fans, because music means memories. Come make a memory with us.

All the Best ~

Megs