Two years after its inception, the J.A.R.E.D. Foundation continues its march forward to bring music education to students who could use a boost.
The organization, which stands for Join A Revolution, Educate Drummers & other musicians, was formed in the summer of 2017 by Surinder and Renae Dahiya and Jerry Lizakowski after their son, Jared Lizakowski, died in a motorcycle accident on NIwot Road in October 2016.
The Dahiyas and Lizakowski wanted to honor Jared, who had been passionate about music and was a drummer in the local band Twenty Year, and loved music. The best way they knew how to honor his memory was to keep his love of music alive by helping others make their own music.
J.A.R.E.D.’s mission is to provide music lessons and instruments to students who express financial need, such as those on reduced lunch programs. Applicants are chosen through a rolling application accessed through the group’s website and scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis. In 2018, J.A.R.E.D. awarded ten scholarships to aspiring young musicians for a total of $15,000.
“We’re planning on awarding about $15,000 in 2019 as well,” said Surinder Dahiya, Jared’s stepfather and one of the organization’s founders. He added that J.A.R.E.D. accepts applicants from elementary school up until the 12th grade.
Students can receive scholarships for lessons, instruments or both, if needed. The organization also seeks donations of instruments and instructor time, and the website has a section to nominate a deserving young musician for adult mentors who see a need for a child who might not ever apply to J.A.R.E.D. of their own volition.
J.A.R.E.D. holds a few fundraising events each year, each centered around music. The group’s Remember in September (RISE) is an annual fundraising concert with local bands and musicians. This year’s RISE will be at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Sept. 7, with the Colorado a cappella band FACE as the event’s headliner. RISE usually includes a beer garden, food trucks and booths and several bands including the headliner.
Their other major event is the SolFest at the DIME Denver on June 21, which is sponsored by J.A.R.E.D. and features younger bands that normally would not get much exposure.
This past year, J.A.R.E.D. has been focused on getting the instrument donation program up and running. Board members also attended a few farmers’ markets, bringing instruments and letting kids play with them to help raise awareness of their mission and get kids interested in music.
Surinder Dahiya said, “Each of our scholarships are typically about $1,000, which gets the student private lessons with an instructor. They pick that instructor, who then signs a contract with us. Then we pay the teacher directly, and the kid gets lessons.”
In 2017, J.A.R.E.D. was a recipient of one of Rock & Rails’ tip jars proceeds, and raised a nearly record-breaking amount of $1,500, which was appreciated in the foundation’s first year of operation.
“We’re really focused on showing people that all of our donations really do go to the kids in our programs,” said Dahiya.“We really look forward to the Rock & Rails events. The community has always been so supportive of us.”
J.A.R.E.D. will once again be the recipient of the tip jar proceeds, this time for the June 13 event featuring local musician Dean Hines and Funkiphino, a funk/dance band. Rock & Rails is the free concert every Thursday from June through August from 5 to 9 pm. in Whistle Stop Park in Niwot.