Dear Editor, For the past 11 years, 107.1 KGSR Radio has sold the popular KGSR Broadcasts CD to legions of eager music lovers. While many fans of this annual gem may not know it, their purchase means peace of mind for Austin’s musicians. Proceeds benefit the SIMS Foundation, an organization providing individualized mental health and addiction-recovery services for Austin’s musicians and their loved ones since 1995. KGSR could have easily sold this annual compilation for profit, scattered the proceeds among many deserving causes, or even tooted their own horn a bit more. However, much like their humble and spotlight-averse leader, Jody Denberg, the station has remained devoted to the SIMS Foundation. In doing so, KGSR has secured a place in the hearts and minds of Austin’s musicians. While writing and performing music in Austin may seem like the good life, taking that path comes with a price. Consider that musicians work odd hours and locations, often in addition to multiple part-time jobs, to pay the bills. Along with the intrigue and moments of glamour come countless hours of practice, traveling, very low pay, rejection and dejection, not to mention the imbalances and addictions that affect all sorts of people. However, our local musicians most often cannot afford insurance of any kind, and don’t have access to affordable mental health services. Thanks in large part to KGSR’s generosity, Austin musicians do have a place to turn. Their annual, oversized check makes the seemingly impossible possible. KGSR’s support (totaling $1.5 million over the past 11 years) largely funds the SIMS Foundation’s essential services, which include mental health counseling, addiction recovery, psychiatric evaluations, medication management, health and wellness programs, and resource/referral services. SIMS serves between 400 and 500 clients every year; again and again, we hear: “Thank you. You saved my life.” On behalf of the staff, board, volunteers, service providers, and countless clients of the SIMS Foundation, I would like to issue an oversized thank you to KGSR and Jody Denberg for helping SIMS save the lives of so many talented and creative souls.
Sandy Bruce President and clinical director The SIMS Foundation