Sam Roberts guitar strings bracelet Auction coming soon!

Last year, around this time,  we were gifted 3 sets of used guitar strings from Canadian rocker Sam Roberts. Many things were on the list of ‘to do’ and Sam had a new album that just came out in April so we held off with our auction but… its time! The auction will run next week for a total of 7 days! Look for links on our site’s sidebar widget for that time period, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and on Sam Roberts Band Facebook page!

sam roberts band guitar string bracelet comfort doll project sam roberts band guitar string bracelet comfort doll project

sam roberts band guitar string bracelet comfort doll project

Collective Soul guitar strings 2 Hurricane Sandy

collective soul guitar string bracelet Collective Soul donated a second batch of used guitar strings including a set from guitarist Joel Kosche this time around.

We auctioned them off to the fans, and were able to raise $500 which we then donated to Salvation Army for Hurricane Sandy relief.

The fans helped us choose who to send the money to.. and since Hurricane Sandy had just happened, and the lower sections of New York/New Jersey seemed to be being ignored by larger disaster relief agencies we wanted to concentrate our donation there. It truly was a group effort.


The Trews strings Auction Results

trews used strings comfort doll projectWe turned a new chapter last year – our comfort doll photos were not as popular as in the previous 6 yrs and we’ve worked with nearly every major Canadian band so were looking for a new way to keep our charity project going. A friend sent us an idea – used guitar string bracelets! We googled, and there are many many out there! So.. we decided to give it a try.

The Trews were coming to play a summer festival near us, and so we contacted the band’s mgmt and ran the idea past them. They said yes and set it up for us, and the night of the concert, the band’s Tour Manager handed us a packet. Surprise! Not one set of strings but 4!!! Two full sets were from Colin’s blue and black Telecaster, one set from John-Angus’ Sunburst, and a fourth set we suspect they tossed in as a bonus! The strings were cut off the guitar (in a hurry perhaps, to add to our collection? 🙂 ) Four sets!

We got busy making bracelets! Not wanting to waste any part of the leftover’s we also made a few pairs of earrings, a keychain and even a belt loop charm and a ring!

trews used strings comfort doll project

The auction was a smash success! The Trews mgmt and Fan Club helped tremendously by spreading around the link to the auction and it exceeded our wildest expectations… Thanks to the band, the mgmt and Especially the fans, the auction raised just under $1700 .. we were, and still are, completely staggered. We had a hard time using it all at the World Vision online Gift Catalog -have never had this much funding to work with! So.. this is the list of what we donated.

  • 2 Hens and a Rooster (eggs for food and for selling)
  • 4 mosquito nets to protect from malaria – this gift helps up to 16 children
  • 3 soccer balls x 3! -kids often use plastic bags or rocks to play with – we wanted to provide some fun things too.
  • bicycle and repair kit – one bike can get a health care worker many miles in a day to visit those too sick to walk to the clinic.
  • Educate a Girl in Need x3 – Girls generally end up uneducated due to cost (the boys are educated first) so we wanted to help three girls go to school
  • HIV and AIDS Care Kit x 3 – a kit is all that’s needed to prevent HIV/Aids transmission from mother to child when the child passes through the birth canal.
  • Help Immunize a Community – big ticket item we were thrilled to include
  • Life-Saving Nutrition for a Child for 2 months -we chose two of this
  • Medicines for 10 children x2 – 20 children will get life saving or preventative meds
  • Restore a Child Soldier x 2 – The Trews support War Child and we thought this would be a good thing to do in their honor
  • School Feeding for 50 children x4 – we were able to feed 200 children for a month!
  • Stock a Medical Clinic x2 – everything needed to look after a community
  • Supply a Classroom x2 – paper, pencils, text books..

As we said, its staggering… the fans were amazing, and the fans support a band that gives back in so many ways (which is why the fans do as well). Thanks to all.


©Comfortdollproject 2012 all rights reserved

Collective Soul auction results

collective soul comfort doll project

Last year Collective Soul agreed to work with us doing a Comfort Doll photo while they were in town, and we were able to do a pic of the entire band one night, develop it into an 8×10 glossy and have the band autograph it the next night – the photo did very well, bringing in $200 dollars; our single highest auction in our short 3 yr history.

This year, the band and their mgmt graciously agreed to do another Comfort Doll photo with us when they breezed through town again. The entire band and their road manager were so generous with their time it was incredible. Not only did we get a photo of the entire band holding 2 Comfort Dolls, but the band/mgmt allowed us to spend the time taking a single shot of each band member with his own Comfort Doll. We were also able to have each photo autographed just recently, when the band came back through town in support of their new Self Titled (Rabbit) album, just a few weeks ago.

Collective Soul is the only band to date that has been featured in auction more than once, and one of the few bands who have autographed photos for us and donated ‘swag’ (well used drumsticks from Cheney Brannon and a song lyrics sheet). Its incredible to work with people who have done previous Comfort Doll photos for us -more often than not our first meeting is a rushed affair; usually less than 5 minutes to snap a few shots and explain to all band members what the Comfort Doll is all about and what will happen with the auction etc. To be able to work with a band the second time is more relaxed and the guys have more fun mugging for the camera with their dolls 🙂

We auctioned the 6 photos (5 band members and one full band shot) just last week and had great response from Collective Soul fans on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and the band’s Official Website fan forum. The bidding in the last 20 minutes was fast and furious as people tried to secure their bids as being the winning one! Dean Roland (rhythm guitarist) tweets personally on Twitter and he visited and tweeted in the last half hour of our auction – which drove bids up too! (Thanks Dean!)

The results are tallied: after expenses (ebay, paypal, postage, photo developing) we have $400.00 in donation money and have gone to the World Vision Gift Catalog to ‘shop’. It was a hard choice to try and use it to do the most good for the most people, or use it for big ticket items – we’ve sort of tried to do both. Some of the bigger ticket items will benefit an entire community which in turn will positively affect the kids living there. This is our list:

$50 – Supply a classroom with books, art materials, pencils, paper, notebooks, rulers and more. North American companies have already donated many of these supplies–so your gift will multiply 11 times to ship and/or purchase needed supplies.

$30 – 3 Soccer balls -kids need to play and in many parts of the world children use rocks and sticks or balled up plastic bags as toys.

$50 – Irrigate Systems – Irrigation systems improve water use efficiency and help communities achieve food security during periods of drought. This gift will help provide struggling farmers with needed supplies such as pumps, pipes, sprinklers, emitters, rainwater harvesting tanks, lining materials for canals, and more. Your gift will also provide training and assistance in the proper design, construction and maintenance of systems for sustainable irrigation management.

$75 – School Feeding for 50 children – Without proper nutrition, children can’t learn. Your gift will help build and stock school kitchens and dining halls to provide nutritious lunches to 50 little ones in a rural school for an entire month. It could be their only healthy meal of the day! Because of donations from the World Food Programme, your gift will multiply 5 times in value to help children

$100 – Immunize a Community – Every year 1.4 million children die needlessly from diseases such as measles and polio that are easily preventable. Your gift will help provide enough immunizations to protect an entire community — and save lives!

$100 – Stock a Medical Clinic -Provide basic medicines to children and families in impoverished areas of the world where hospital and health clinic shelves are often bare. North American companies have donated basic medicines like antibiotics, antimalarials, de-worming drugs, vitamins, aspirin, bandages, syringes, bed nets and more. Your gift will multiply 13 times to ship and/or purchase the needed supplies. Stock a clinic and help a community.

Many of these ‘gifts’ multiply many times over due to donation help from government agencies and other business’ generosity. We’ve split this money between health, education, clean water, and giving kids the chance to just be kids (soccer balls).

We hope the band is pleased with what we’ve been able to do on their behalf – and we thank them for their amazing generosity of time. Thanks to, to all who bid on the items – I wish everyone could have won a picture of their favorite band member. Thanks to the winning bidders for holding out for one more bid and a HUGE thanks to all those who helped spread the word about this auction to their friends, especially those ladies on Twitter who literally shouted it from the roof tops 🙂 This is our most successful band auction ever!

Tom Cochrane part 2 – Nakusp

If you haven’t read Part 1 of Tom Cochrane, Go here first.

So, we had Tom’s comfort doll photo, and we needed another photo for the same auction – Jimmy Eppard participated and while I was working with Jimmy, I found out that Tom Cochrane was going to perform at the Nakusp Music Fest – he was the headliner for the closing night. We go to the Nakusp Music Fest each year, so I suddenly had a ‘plan’. What if I convinced Tom to meet up with me again and autograph the photo of himself? I figured an autographed photo would go for much more in auction. I also found out that Collective Soul was set to perform that same night, RIGHT BEFORE Tom! I desperately tried to find contact info for them or their management but couldn’t find anything online or elsewhere…. but that’s another story 😉

I didn’t find out about Tom being headliner for the music fest until it was too late to send him a message at Myspace – so I simply took the 8×10 glossy pic I had, bundled it up good and secure (so it wouldn’t get bent out of shape) and made sure I had a good new sharpie, and off we went to the music fest and camping holiday. I figured if it worked, it worked, and if not, so be it. I also figured I’d be able to find a ‘backstage door’ as I had with Steve Gorman from the Black Crowes (our first photo!). I also took my small photo album that I had started – 4×6 photos of the band’s we’d worked with so far. Spur of the moment decision but it paid off big in the end.

Once at Nakusp it was Music Fest all weekend and I could hardly wait for Sunday night! There had been one band the night before who tried to sign autographs with fans over the fencing up front, but who were ‘moved along’ by security and their own people as they were on a time schedule to catch the ferry (the only way into Nakusp from both directions is by ferry’s). Some bands signed autographs in the media tent, but mostly the afternoon acts – night time acts were anxious to leave town in decent time and be on the road for their next show. Figuring it was an exercise in futility, I went to the ‘back stage’ area only to have my suspicions confirmed… all buses and vans etc were well behind security fencing with a security guard at the entrance. No chance. But just then, Jonesy (Tom’s bass player Jeff Jones) walked past. I told the guard I needed to speak to him, and amazingly enough, the guard called him over (I had forgotten his name (blushes) or I would have called to him myself). Jeff came over and smiled as soon as he saw me – remembering the doll from last time. He asked how I was, I told him what I was hoping to accomplish and pulled the small 4×6 photo of Tom and his comfort doll out of my camera bag (note to self, always bring a notepad lol) and I wrote on the back -asking Tom if he had time, would he sign an 8×10 version of this same photo for the auction – then put my cell phone number on it and gave it to Jeff Jones. He promised he’d put it in Tom’s dressing room mirror and that was that.

The show was amazing! Tom was strong voiced, and full of spunk and energy – I had never seen him in concert before, so it was an amazing experience for me. I somehow ended right up front, right on the rail (most people stay seated in their lawn chairs further back at this festival) and I took many photos of the band with my new digital 🙂 At one point Tom climbed the side rigging to sing to the audience, and Jonesy found me in the audience, and smiled all night at me and the people I was with. Tom saw me near the end of the show, made sure my hand was one of the multitude he shook as he walked along the stage edge, and then the show was over – by the very last song Tom and the band were literally covered in white moths who were attracted by the stage lights.. it was a pretty incredible sight actually.

About an hour after the concert had ended, just as I was walking back to where we were camped for the weekend, (about to give up hope and accept that it wasn’t going to be,) I got a phone call. Be at the security gate in 10 minutes. I was elated, so hoofed it back and was met by security who had my small 4×6 photo in hand, and gave it back to me. It was autographed by Tom on the front side. I must have looked completely crushed, because he asked me what was wrong. I explained to him that the smaller photo was simply a note to Tom asking for the larger photo to be signed, and then showed him the larger one. My eternal gratitude – he radioed to someone inside and talked to them out of my hearing, told me to wait a bit, and then he let me in and I was told to go down some stairs to the green room, and someone would meet me. The ‘green room’ was in the Nakusp hockey rink. As I was escorted down to the hockey dressing room I ran into Jeff Jones who gave me a super hug, and I showed him the glossy 8×10. He loved it. He walked me in to where Tom was waiting…. Tom had a few other young people there already waiting to see him. One fellow was blind and I watched Tom with him – his attention was on this one young man completely -there was literally nobody else in the room. They had a photo taken together, and there was a young couple who were next. Again Tom spent a fair bit of time with them, treating them as equals rather than ‘fan’ and ‘superstar’. I watched again, and the young man did an amazing magic trick – had us all in stitches. Then it was my turn 🙂

I showed Tom the photo – he loved it, but he was going to personalize it! When I asked him to just sign it without my name on it, he seemed surprised, so I explained what I had in mind and he was good with it. We spoke for some time but I could see he was absolutely wiped out but being polite, so I thanked him and bid him good night and that was that! Our photo was autographed, and we were ready for our auction.

You can view results of this auction (Tom Cochrane, Daniel Lanois and Jimmy Eppard) by clicking on ‘Auctions’ Tab above – we raised a staggering $500 dollars for World Vision! And no.. that’s not the end of the story with Tom Cochrane. Part 3 HERE 🙂