Teri Vance: Concert Saturday to benefit Willow Bill in Carson City
A concert to benefit Willow Bill in his battle against colon cancer will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at A to Zen Gifts and Thrifts, 1803 N. Carson St., in Carson City.
“There are plenty of teachers and school children who I’m sure would want to be there,” said Diana Bracy, who is organizing the event. “He has given so much of himself for the last 20 years — to the kids, the community, to everybody he meets.”
I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago about William “Willow Bill” Goulardt’s diagnosis with stage four cancer. Willow Bill has become a familiar name in Carson City and surrounding communities as he’s visited classrooms for more than 20 years helping children make reindeer from willow.
The reindeer are then displayed in businesses along 395 from Gardnerville to Reno, as well as in front of the Capitol during the Christmas season.
Almost since the beginning of the project, Willow Bill has had the goal of extending the reach of the reindeer from Topaz to Bordertown.
He said this year it is starting to look like a reality, which flies in the face of cancer.
“I was like, ‘Wait, Lord, no. I’m supposed to see this through,’” he said. “I’m supposed to make sure all these kids out there know we did it.”
The concert will feature the Reno band Kicks playing American music and Coyote Hill from Georgetown, Calif.
Coyote Hill is an eclectic band playing Americana music with a twist of Brazilian beats.
“It’s going to be an awesome concert,” Bracy said. “These guys are pros. They’re all professionals, and they’re fabulous.”
Local musicians Jon Stewart and Troy Izzy will also be performing.
“All these guys are coming on their own dime,” Bracy said. “They’re taking time off of work. None of them are getting paid. They just know it’s a worthy cause.”
Willow Bill said he has been overwhelmed by the support of his family and friends — as far away as England — who are participating in the concert, donating to the Go Fund Me or just giving well wishes.
“It’s pretty humbling. It makes me cry sometimes,” he said. “It’s a good feeling. It makes me want to get up and do something. I feel so honored and blessed.”
On Thursday, Willow Bill was on day 17 of his chemo treatment.
“It’s only got me down four days out of the 17,” he said. “I’m doing OK. I’m going to make this.”
Bracy said the concert will be a good time for music lovers of all sorts, but it will serve a deeper purpose as well.
“If they love Willow, they should come out,” Bracy said. “I believe that what you put out comes back to you. That’s why there is going to be a good turnout and it’s why Willow is going to survive.”
Bracy is also seeking water-cooler-sized water bottles to use to accept donations at the concert.
To learn more or to donate to Willow Bill, go to gf.me/u/t66w9s.