Huskies with Heart: With dreams and a little soul, freshman helps seriously ill

Huskies with Heart: With dreams and a little soul, freshman helps seriously ill

By Megan Jicha

Most people, no matter their age, can only dream of one day walking the red carpet and mingling with celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce. But David Gusky, a freshman business administration and entrepreneurship and small business management major, has been doing just that since 2003 when he launched an organization called Musicians Rock the Soul.

The nationwide fundraising campaign raises funds for Paul Newman’s Association of Hole in the Wall Camps – the world’s largest association of camps for children with serious illnesses.

Gusky learned of the nonprofit camps through a family friend who was chairman of the board at one of the camps in Florida. After visiting this camp, Gusky was inspired, he said.

“The visit really opened my eyes. I wasn’t allowed to work there, because I was not yet 18, so I decided I would contribute in another way: fundraising,” Gusky said.

In order to meet his high school’s community service requirement, Gusky held dress-down day at his high school, where students paid $2 to not wear their uniform to school for a day. After raising $2,500 from the dress-down day, Gusky decided to continue and upgrade his fundraising campaign for the Newman camps.

With the help of Casablanca Records executive and family friend Tommy Mottola, Gusky was able to set up his next project.

“Since trucker hats were big then, I had celebrities like P. Diddy and Jennifer Lopez sign graffiti trucker hats and sold them at my school for $15 each,” Gusky said.

With the huge success of the trucker hat sales and other donations, Gusky was able to raise $80,000 to donate to the children at Hole in the Wall camps.

With such success, Gusky saw an opportunity to do something even bigger. This is when he trademarked Musicians Rock the Soul.

“I designed shirts and a necklace, a CD charm with a hanging guitar pick, to sell on my Web site,” Gusky said.

Publicist to the stars Lizzie Grubman worked her magic, and soon celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Jeremy Piven and Jessica Simpson could be spotted sporting the now-signature necklace.

Musicians Rock the Soul was most recently the official sponsor for the American Music Awards afterparty and a part of the MTV Video Music Awards.

Gusky said he plans to continue Musicians Rock the Soul throughout college and alongside whatever else he decides to do in life.

“Everything took a lot of dedication, time and hard work, but I take a lot of pride in it and truly enjoy doing it. It’s truly a worthwhile cause,” Gusky said.

For more information or to support Musicians Rock the Soul, visit www.musiciansrockthesoul.com.

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