Earlier this year, Hot Licks Guitar Shop (Waldorf MD) completed its third annual fundraiser to support the fight against breast cancer. The Hot Licks team walked in the DC Avon Walk for the Cure on May 5 and 6. For its fundraiser, Hot Licks sold $1 raffle tickets in the shop from February and raised more than $2,000 for breast cancer research. For each raffle ticket sold, the store posted a pink ribbon with the name of the donor on it. By the end, the store’s walls were adorned with more than 2,000 pink ribbons. In support of the cause, Korg donated a VOX AC151C guitar amplifier (an amp that retails for around $900) and Paul McDermott, the Owner of Hot Licks Guitar Shop, donated a Les Paul Custom Epiphone guitar (a guitar that sells for around $700), both of which were raffled off separately to two individuals who donated to the fundraiser.
The store held the raffle drawing at its annual drum competition on April 14. The winner of the VOX amp was John Mimms. He is one of the store’s students and was thrilled to win the amplifier. The winner of the Epiphone guitar was Austin Teets. And that’s where the story takes a little twist. Teets’ grandmother, Virginia Redding, a longtime customer who was well known by store staff, used to bring Teets, her grandson, to Hot Licks for guitar lessons for more than four years. In March, Redding lost her battle with breast cancer. The store had created a special place to hang the pink ribbons around its front doorway to honor of Redding and even made a sign that simply said, “In Loving Memory of Virginia Redding.” Mark Teets, who had stopped in the shop on the day of his mother’s funeral, had donated to Hot Licks’ fundraiser and received raffle tickets in Redding’s name for both of his sons, Austin and Gabriel.
On the day of the raffle, Becca, one of Hot Licks’ staff members, reached into the little bucket containing tickets and read the name on the card aloud. It was a great surprise to everyone when Austin Teets’ name was called to be the winner of the Epiphone guitar. As Becca and Cyn (one of the Owners) explained to the crowd the news of Redding’s death in March, a strange silence fell upon the room, followed by a long, slow round of applause.
The store is very happy to have Teets, Redding’s grandson, as the winner of the Epiphone guitar. In the store’s eyes, it could not have gone to a more deserving person and family. The store expresses its thanks to all those who have supported its fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. Hot Licks will see everybody again next spring, ready to hang more pink ribbons.