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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Concert series formed by Brandon college students raises money for a cause

BRANDON — The Noise Box recently celebrated its one-year anniversary of making music in the name of charity.

The group, through its Diversified Christian Noise concert series, hosts concerts that highlight local bands at Christ Community Church, 1310 John Moore Road, in Brandon. The majority of the proceeds go to charities or individuals in need, said Noise Box director of operations Thom Schultz.

“We’re just a group of college kids trying to build relationships in our community,” Schultz said.

One of those relationships connected the Santos family in Plant City with the Noise Box for the organization’s upcoming show on Sept. 7. Jayson and Shawn Santos’ 5-year-old daughter, Brooklynn, is battling spinal muscular atrophy.

“A friend of ours goes to church there [Christ Community Church], and got us together with Noise Box,” said Shawn Santos. “It’s tough because she just started kindergarten this week, and if she gets sick, we have to keep her out until she’s well.”

The Noise Box benefit, which will take place from 5 to 10 p.m., has been dubbed Bands for Brooklynn. There will be raffles — featuring prizes like tickets to Legoland and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game — along with performances from six to eight musical acts.

According to Schultz, the group created its musical mission a little more than a year ago. He and a group of other college-age youngsters were inspired by a bible study session.

“We were reading James, and it was talking about living out our faith, not just speaking it,” Schultz said. “We started to think about what we could do to serve our community.”

Schultz, who plays drums for the band at Christ Community Church, and a few other musically-inclined members of the group proposed the idea of a concert series.

Noise Box was formed last August and is now a 501(c)(3) organization. The group hosts about two shows per month, showcasing a variety of local talent.

“We do not require that the bands be ‘Christian’, however, we do have a conduct policy that requires bands refrain from vulgar language and inappropriate content,” Schultz said. “That way, we can keep it a family environment.

“We work with all kinds of music acts — from rap to acoustic, and indie to hardcore or metal — really anyone who is willing to abide by our policies.”

Past shows have benefited I Matter Too, a Tampa-based group that mentors abused and orphaned children, and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Schultz is happy with the organization’s progress during its first year.

“The coolest part is that all the work done by our leadership team is on a volunteer basis,” he said. The majority of the proceeds from each show go to charity, and the rest goes to paying the musical acts and to help cover operational and promotional expenses. “We’ve had shows where there have only been a few people, so it’s also been really encouraging to see the group stick with it through thick and thin.”

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