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Kevin Baird

By Michael Harnett

Executive Director for Joey’s Song Joey’s Song is a series of compilation CDs featuring rare and unreleased music from nationally and internationally known, award winning artists. The CDs are named in honor of Joey Gomoll, who passed away in March of 2010. The Direct Buzz (tDB): Tell us about Joey Gomoll and how Joey’s Song came into being? Kevin Baird (KB): Joey Gomoll was a happy, upbeat little boy who was handed a ton of bad medical breaks. Like his older brother and sister, Joey was adopted from Guatemala and made his home in Wisconsin. He was a playful, upbeat and downright charming little guy whose life unfortunately became overrun by anticonvulsant drugs and ambulance trips following his first epileptic seizure when he was just 6 months old. For the next 4 ½ years, Joey smiled, danced and laughed his way through his brief time on earth. Epilepsy took away Joey’s ability to talk, but it never took away his ability to connect with his family and friends and never ever took away his spirit and zest for life. He loved music and loved to play and engage with everyone around him. Joey suffered from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome and passed away just a few weeks shy of his fifth birthday. Dravet syndrome is a particularly devastating form of epilepsy. Children suffering from Dravet syndrome have a very high mortality rate and most have frequent seizures that can’t be controlled by medication. Often times Dravet syndrome causes not only developmental delays but can actually lead to regression as a patient

grows. When Joey died unexpectedly in March 2010, his family and friends wanted to find a way to celebrate Joey’s life and make the future brighter for kids like Joey, their families and everyone fighting epilepsy. In April of 2010, Joey’s father, Michael Gomoll, established Joey’s Song, a charitable organization that, in tribute to Joey, uses music to fund epilepsy research and patient care services for children with special needs. tDB: How did you decide on Music as the main marketing and revenue source for the organization? KB: Because Dravet syndrome robbed Joey of his ability to speak and communicate via the spoken word, music was his connection to the world. It brought him joy, and he was most content when music was playing and he was coaxing those around him to sing and dance. Even when he was recovering from one of his seizures, classical

music helped to soothe him. Because music was Joey’s link to the world while he was with us, it seemed an obvious vehicle for fundraising in his memory. tDB: How did you go about choosing the artists and genres and clearing the music? KB: When we started Joey’s Song, we had a connection to three of the artists who would appear on the first two CDs - Del Amitri, Lowen & Navarro and Greg Percy. After those artists agreed to donate a song, the act of

The Direct Buzz March Issue 2014  

the Direct Buzz January 2014 issue. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform.