The Guitars Over Guns Organization, a Miami-based 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to serving at-risk youth through high-impact, music-based mentorship programs, has been named a 2018 Marlins Charity Partner by the Marlins Foundation. This honor includes an award of $25,000 and a specially dedicated Charity Partner Day at Marlins Park on July 13 to celebrate the partnership.
Guitars Over Guns is one of four esteemed local non-profits selected to receive this year’s award, totaling $100,000 between all four organizations. The award is made possible through the Marlins Charity Empowerment Fund, funded primarily by Marlins players, and aims to make a deep and focused impact on South Florida youth through education and baseball, exemplifying the team’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and civic engagement.
The Marlins’ generous contribution will help Guitars Over Guns to continue providing no-cost music lessons, academic support, and strong mentoring relationships with professional musicians to disadvantaged youth at North Miami, Georgia Jones-Ayers, Citrus Grove, and Cutler Bay middle schools, as well as the Educate Tomorrow Center and Camillus House.
“The Marlins Foundation has been a longtime supporter of our programs and the community at-large over the years,” said Chad Bernstein, Founder & CEO of Guitars Over Guns. “We are so honored and humbled by this partnership, and look forward to continuing to impact the lives of deserving youth with the Marlins at our side.”
Since 2017, the Marlins have welcomed the Guitars Over Guns students to Marlins Park to celebrate their annual Graduation Ceremony. This year’s ceremony, to take place on May 29, will feature live musical performances by students, mentors, and alumni; the premiere of the student-made “Can’t Stop the Feeling” music video; and inspiring remarks from Guitars Over Guns students and special guests.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” was recorded at Noisematch Studios, the Wynwood-based recording studio known for producing the hit song “Despacito.” The music video, directed by Dre Torres, was filmed at Jose de Diego Middle School, and features the famous Justin Timberlake song as performed by Guitars Over Guns’ talented middle school students from throughout Miami-Dade County.
“Our students worked very hard on this video, and we can’t wait to celebrate their accomplishments at our graduation ceremony,” Bernstein said.
The ceremony and music video premiere take place on Tuesday, May 29, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Marlins Park. Family, friends, and interested press & media are invited to RSVP via this form.