(WFSB) – Exciting new details on a non-profit that puts instruments into the hands of Connecticut’s youth.

Back in October, our Bright Spot featured ‘Smiles I Can See’ started by Vincent Rodriguez of New Canaan.

Word spread about his mission, and before he knew it, friends, family, and complete strangers were asking how they could contribute to the cause.

Nearly 100 guitars later, the selfless campaign continues to bring music to Connecticut youth.

And before the holidays a surprise giveaway took place at the Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center in Middletown where seven lucky kids, ages 5 to 12 were the recipients.

Terri LaChance of Cheshire orchestrated the event by recruiting Vincent to donate the guitars and guitar teacher, Lynn Tracy to teach.

The emotional component was taken to a whole other level after the hour lesson, when LaChance told the kids and their families that they could take home their guitars.

“The kids were like ‘oh my goodness, thank you so much,’ I mean a couple kids hugged us! They were so happy to get a guitar.”

Lynn Tracy says it was special for everyone involved. “Having these kids feel like it was Christmas, and it was not even the holidays yet… it was awesome.”

On Saturday, January 15th, ‘Smiles I Can See’ is holding a virtual fundraiser featuring a showcase of local musicians performing live from the Buttonwood.

Learn more here.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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