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Building the Buzz

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Pro Bono Work

To many people, this is a dirty word, but, for me, it has been an excellent way of getting national recognition while doing a good thing for my community. I believe that, by giving of yourself, you receive more in return. You know the old saying: "It is better to give than to receive." I believe in this 100%.

Here's a good example of why I think so. Each fall, I host a music event called the Harvest Showcase. Over the past seven years, the Harvest Showcase has brought the nation's best unsigned artists together for a cause. The event has raised more than 22 tons of food for Kentucky/USA Harvest, while giving selected artists the opportunity to perform 40-minute sets before record industry professionals and capacity crowds.

Every year when this event takes place, I get boatloads of press and lots of submissions from bands wanting to perform at the event. The Harvest Showcase went from being just a cool local benefit to one of the nation's premier music events. In fact, the 1999 Harvest Showcase was Webcast live on the Internet, and we received more than 250,000 hits on our Web site—we even had people on every continent watching the three-day event. That blew me away. Here I am, this guy from Louisville, Kentucky, USA, and someone from China was speaking with us in the Harvest chat room. Now that was a rush, to say the least.

This event helped to build my credibility on a national level. When I tell someone that I've helped to raise more than 22 tons of food for USA Harvest, they listen to what else I have to say. Give of yourself as much as you can, and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

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