The idea for donating guitars happened when Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe visited the Fisher House in Honolulu in 2017.
Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room, and an inviting living room.
On their visit, the commander of the local base showed up and asked Thom to perform his hit song “Riding with Private Malone.” Thom was without a guitar that day as he and Coley were on their way to the beach.
Coley and Thom looked at each other and said “Every Fisher House should have a guitar.”
Thom plays a red Taylor 615ce Concert Jumbo. So the couple decided to go with red Taylor 214ce guitars for their donations. They have a small plaque on them with the name of the person who donated it and a link to the RedGuitars.org website
As of March 8, 2023, 40 Red Guitars have been sponsored, and 23 of them have been delivered to Fisher Houses in Texas, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Florida.
Thanks to Mike Fuller at Fuller Guitars in Houston for helping to make this possible, and Kris and Michael McBride from the Lake Conroe TX Parrot Head Club, “The 5 O’Clock Phlock.”
Below: A guitar delivered to the Fisher House in Houston, Singer Songwriter Bob Karwin delivers a Red Guitar in Los Angeles, California. Thom and Buddy & Karyn Roussel at Fisher House in New Orleans, Thom delivering a Red Guitar in Tampa
“Joint Base Andrews received the Red Guitar this morning. It was an honor meeting the donor and receiving this gracious gift. We look forward to listening to someone playing it in the very near future. I am certain all our guests will benefit from its grand presence in our home. Also the Air Force Fisher House organization would like to thank you for thinking of our homes as well as the heroes that stay with us. Being a 26 year retired AF senior NCO myself and having many relativeds serve in the military from the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II, Vietnam to my daughter who is serving now here at Andrews AFB, I know what music can do to brighten their day. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”
Abe Gutierrez, General Manager. JBA Fisher House
THOM SHEPHERD’S RED GUITAR
Thom says “In 2005 I was going through chemo-therapy. My friend and cowriter of “I Am A Woman” Mary Sue Englund knew that I wanted a Taylor guitar like hers, so she reached out to a bunch of friends of mine, including Pam Tillis. They all contributed to buy me my Taylor 615ce. I picked it out on the Taylor website and when I saw the red color, I had to have it.”
So Mary Sue’s act of kindness is now being “paid forward” to anyone staying at a Fisher House that has one of our Red Guitars.
“We can’t wait to hear how one of our Red Guitars impacts someone’s visit.”
Thanks for your interest in the Red Guitar Campaign,
Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe Shepherd
Have you had an experience with one of our Red Guitars at a Fisher House? Please tell us your story at AlwaysSaturdayNight@gmail.com
HOW TO SPONSOR A RED GUITAR
1. The suggested donation for each guitar is $1500. Click the donate button below.
2. Once you have entered your donation amount, you will see a confirmation screen. Just below the amount you are donating, it says “Add A Note” In this section, please give your name or who you would like to say the guitar is from (for example, “The Bohannan Family.”) This will be engraved on a small plaque on the front of the guitar. Next, let us know which location or city you would like to donate it to. If you don’t have a specific one in mind, no worries! We will find a home for it.
3. Complete the transaction. We will send you a confirmation email and keep you up to date on when the guitar is being delivered.