One of GETDOT’s finest has put his own blood, sweat and beers toward a worthy cause. And he needs your support for two big events next month.
Eric Rine, one of our board members and the owner of the Columbus independent insurance agency Buckeye Benefit Consulting, performed at a January kickoff event to help military veterans, hosted by Finnegan’s Wake, a local pub in Pickerington, Ohio.
The evening had one main purpose: to raise awareness and attendance for two big events coming next month, both of which having been created by an organization known as Summit for Soldiers (SfS).
The RUN Down the Demons’ 5K PTSD Awareness Run/Obstacle Course will be offered on April 2nd at OSU. SfS is working to create a student veterans resource center on campus.
Later that same evening, the R.O.C. (Resources, Organizations, Community) For Veterans Music Festival will commence. There will be two stages for performances. This is more than just a fundraiser – it’s a way to bring the community together to offer a collective “thank you” to veterans. Many local organizations for these heroes will share information and resources.
“As a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Beers and a veteran myself, I can say that it’s always an honor to spend my time helping my brothers and sisters, and I can’t think of a more worthy cause than working to eliminate the thousands of suicides our veterans and service members suffer each year,” Rine said.
The important message is this: PTSD is a very real thing and SfS wants to spread awareness about the resources available for the community, veterans, and families to prevent more than 8,000 annual veteran suicides. That heartbreaking figure is with only 21 states reporting statistics. So the number is tragically a much larger problem than what is being tracked.
Along with violinist Steve Szczepaniak, Rine brought out his favorite acoustic guitar and his best set list and performed at the kickoff event with his band called Blood, Sweat and Beers. They served as the opening act for The Jack, and even played during their set breaks. Local radio personality Ronni Hunter from 99.7 The Blitz was a gracious hostess and is often seen supporting veterans groups.
“I know that our veterans and current service personnel are the reason I get to do what makes me happy for a living. We owe everything we have to our nation’s veterans and it breaks my heart to know that so many of them find themselves without hope. I will personally do ANYTHING I can do to help prevent this, turn it around…whatever!” Hunter said.
Blood, Sweat & Beers was created by Rine and Patrick “Big Pat” Masalko in 2005 and since then they’ve been rocking pubs, festivals, weddings, corporate events, and more, all over America. Musicians have come and gone over the years but Rine and Masalko have continued to be the anchors. They don’t always share the stage but they do share the name.
“From small acoustic shows to our 9-piece full band, we can cover just about any event! We boast anywhere from 3-4 lead vocalists per show which gives us lots of harmonious range, and adding violin, keyboards and saxophone gives us something that most bands just can’t provide,” Rine said. “Our guys are professionals, only a couple of us have day jobs. The members who only do music for a living are always on my mind, pushing me to be better.”
The group is rock-based and features an “unmatched” variety of genres, he added.
“Everyone in the band is a proficient songwriter. Thanks to our professionalism on stage, my deep relationships with venues, and our unabashed love for music, we have musicians lined up to fill in, most of them hoping to earn a permanent spot in our lineup,” Rine said.
It’s not just about the music. It’s about what they do with it. Rine, himself a veteran of active duty Air Force and a currently serving Air Force Reservist, explains:
“Whenever we have the opportunity we enjoy taking the time to pay back our community. We’ve done everything from veterans’ benefits to Red Cross fundraisers, Byron Saunders Foundation, cancer benefits, children’s benefits, and much more. We’ve been so blessed over the years to spend time on stage doing something we love, and the last several years have been especially kind to us. It just makes sense for us to give that away whenever possible for the myriad of worthwhile causes out there. As hard as we’ve worked over the years, we’ll never know the struggles of some of the people we’re playing to support, and that’s why we’re happy to do it,” he said.
Check out the links within this article for more information on the veterans’ events. And be sure to follow Rine and his band! He would love to discuss it with you at a future GETDOT event.