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Carl Wilson Foundation Finds a Perfect Mate in the Petrillo Memorial Fund

The Carl Wilson Foundation (CWF) will donate to the AFM's Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians from funds raised this fall at the third annual Carl Wilson Walk Against Cancer. The Foundation was formed in 1999 by Carl's sons Jonah and Justyn Wilson, a year after they lost their father to cancer. Wilson was the lead guitarist for and a founding member of the legendary Beach Boys.

The Lester Petrillo Fund is a charitable trust fund that provides financial aid to disabled members. The fund provides assistance to qualified applicants on an emergency basis. Funds from the CWF donation will be used specifically to assist those AFM members battling cancer who are in need of assistance meeting their medical or financial needs.

"In our efforts to find a home for the money we were raising, we came across the Lester Petrillo Fund, " explains Billy Hinsche, the Carl Wilson Foundation's CFO. "It really was tailor-made to what the boys thought Carl would approve of -- and that is to not only raise money for cancer research, but to raise money for cancer research specifically to benefit musicians. There are so many things going on that are cancer-related, but this has a very specific focus. It just worked out for us; it's the only organization that came up in our search that was simply a perfect fit." Hinsche, a longtime member of Local 47, is also the late Wilson's [former] brother-in-law.

The CWF's primary fundraising activity is its yearly walk against cancer, in conjunction with a number of other special events in a two-day period. This year's events kicked off on October 7 with "Beach Party A Go Go," a sing-a-long event traditionally held at Paradise Cove in Malibu, California -- the site where the photograph for the original Surfin' Safari cover was taken.

"It's really just a casual get-together," explains Hinsche, "a big picnic atmosphere. I bring a little battery powered keyboard and acoustic guitar and I invite my musician friends with their acoustic guitars, and some of the fans bring guitars or whatever they like. It's sort of on old-fashioned sing-along. It sounds really square and corny, but it's a blast -- and of course we sing Beach Boy songs. That way the fans, who've come in from all over the world really, can meet and get to know each other and have something to do on the Saturday before the main event."

The following day's 5K walk is coupled with a full-scale concert event, a barbecue, and an auction complete with items like rare photos and autographed guitars. The whole event is very family-oriented and attended by fans, numerous members of the Wilson family, and countless members of the Beach Boys' extended musical family.

"The fans have an opportunity to mingle with the family and with a lot of people they wouldn't normally have a chance to get near," says Hinsche. "They get to talk with them and take photos with them -- it's like a big family picnic. There is no security per se; it's all very open. That's something that money can't buy."

Hinsche says this year's events were a raging success, and that he and the Wilsons are pleased to have found the Lester Petrillo Fund an organization which will enable individual musicians to benefit from the proceeds. He expects that the foundation's activities will only continue to grow.

"We raised a bunch of money in Carl's memory" says Hinsche, "and I consider it a success. One of our goals is to just keep having it get bigger and better -- it's all very exciting. I'm very proud of the work that we've done."

Reprinted from International Musician,
November 2000 (page 7)
Official Journal of The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada






Updated on November 12, 2000