Banding Together 

An April 10 benefit at Visual Arts Collective for Old Boise Guitar was, according to co-organizer Ryan Peck, "a highly successful event." So many people came out that some had to be turned away, but many left a donation at the door before leaving. Peck said highlights of the night included performances by Old Boise Guitar owner Johnny Pisano, Pinto Bennett and Doug Martsch "playing that Cat Steven's tune from Harold and Maude."

Nearly 40 sponsors donated items including an autographed Doors album. The numbers aren't all in yet, but it looks like they raised about $8,000.

Pisano said he's still recovering from the shock. "We had regular customers coming in the store [who knew] how we have been struggling," Pisano said. "That led to Brad Talbutt's article in The Statesman ... there was quite an amazing response to that ... including a follow-up article by Tim Woodward, who's been a customer of the store since we opened."

Ultimately for Pisano, the benefit did much more than raise some cash. It prompted a "tidal wave of awareness," one that hopefully will wash over other small businesses struggling to stay afloat. He hopes what he's experienced means the beginning of an awareness and that people will start pulling together.

"What goes around, comes around," he said. "And I hope to be in a position to turn around and do something for someone else."

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