We have announced that Kenyon Young of Las Vegas is the lucky winner of the Huber banjo prize in the Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle, and all of us on the team working to promote this annual fundraiser feel like we’ve run a marathon! We crossed the finish line with $22,060 to use for grants, scholarships, programs (and more) provided by the IBMA Foundation.

Just scan through this month’s newsletter to get an idea of some of the folks we have helped in the past year. Bluegrass educator Eric Shi (in the video to the left with his band in China) received a Shultz Fund grant. Jessica Lang received the Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship in September 2021. A group of inmates at Avenal State Prison in California will benefit from an IBMA Foundation project grant awarded to the California Bluegrass Association. And several hundred high school orchestra students, their teachers, and their parents in Connecticut have just been introduced to playing and enjoying bluegrass music thanks to a couple of Bluegrass in the Schools mini-grants to the Austin Scelzo Band.

These are just a few of the reasons why we run the April-May marathon with the Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle, and why we solicit your support year-round. HUGE thanks go to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket!

I’d also like to thank Richard Spratt for donating the prize banjo this year for the raffle, and Steve Huber for building good banjos. Our hard-working raffle promo team included Laurie Greenberg, Kissy Black and Lotos Nile, Fred Bartenstein, Wendy Tyner, Erin Erdos, and Valerie Smith. We appreciate Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, IBMA’s newsletter, and everyone who shared a post in helping us to get the word out—including Foundation board members and Leadership Bluegrass alumni. Special New York City assistance was provided by Lowe Vintage Instruments, Calton Cases, Christina Delgado, Laurie Greenberg (again), Asunto Trischka for the chocolate cake, Tony Trischka for the banjo socks, and videographer Will Conard. Jeff Branch and Karen Miller produced the two festivals where we hosted booths. 

We had great fun taking the banjo around North Carolina, Tennessee and New York for folks to try it out, have their photos made with it, and make videos so ticket buyers could hear what they might win. Thanks so much to the following VIP banjo players who helped us out: Barry Abernathy, Terry Baucom, Alan Bibey, Ron Block, Jeff Branch, Gena Britt, Becky Buller, Shad Cobb, Kelsey Crews, Greg Davis, Steve Dilling, Pam Gadd, Justin Jenkins, Eli Johnston, Chris Joslin, Doyle Lawson, Curtis Lewis, Eric Lindberg, Ned Luberecki, Steve Martin, Joe Mullins, Alan O’Bryant, Jeff Parker, Mike Scott, Sammy Shelor, Jeremy Stephens, Mike Tatar, Tony Trischka and Tray Wellington. 

Please stay tuned for April 2023, when we’ll announce the exciting prize that’s already been donated to the Foundation for the 3rd annual Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle! It’s a vintage instrument with great tone. (Hint: it has frets, a pick guard, and a round sound hole.) We can’t wait to tell you more about it! 

Thanks for staying tuned and for working with the IBMA Foundation to help make the future of bluegrass brighter! We couldn’t do it without you. 

-Nancy Cardwell

Return to the June 2022 issue of The Cornerstone.