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Voices for Children (Updated)

An album recorded right here at our radio station KPRI FM 102.1 is Live Tracks Volume 2 and it benefits Voices for Children. When a charity is involved that changes lives like this one, I'm there. This column is generally about the music scene in San Diego, today we're talking about how music affects the scene here in town.

Pat Hughes is familiar with three related "projects": the album, KPRI and Robert Hughes, our afternoon show host. First, she turned me on to Voices for Children. Second, most of the final mixes were done in the state of the art digital studio she encouraged Robert, her husband, to build in their garage. Finally, I consider Robert one of Pat's projects because he's been producing this project for almost four months now and she is probably ready for a vacation.

It's the tendency of anyone who works on a mix to test the mix on "listening guinea pigs." (The qualifications are two good ears and sound mental ability to evaluate the latest miniscule fader adjustment and the tweaking of equally tiny buttons and knobs). Spouses are always available and I know Robert. It's my guess that Pat is intimately familiar with all EIGHTEEN tracks on this album. I know she is proud, as are we, for the work everyone at KPRI has poured into developing this project for Voices for Children. And it started with her setting up a meeting two years ago to ask if we could do anything to help.

When I said Voices for Children could change lives I'm not kidding. Voices for Children funds education programs for Court Appointed Special Advocates. They call them CASA's for short but the job these volunteers accept is anything but diminutive.

A friend of mine is a CASA. He got involved in the program because he heard about Voices for Children on my morning show. He studied to become a CASA and was chosen to help a 12-year old youngster currently in the foster care system in San Diego. I'll call the boy Josh.

Josh's mom and dad were drug addicts and they couldn't take care of him. When Josh was six-years-old, his mother and father got into legal hot water and he was sent to foster care. Foster care is a mixed bag. Josh was in and out of several foster homes before he and my friend intersected last year.

My friend attends parent-teacher meetings with Josh, takes Josh to the doctor, and makes sure that he gets things that will help him later in life. My friend came to me for a favor last year saying that Josh would really enjoy music. He wanted to get the boy a guitar. And yours truly had one. And it's in better hands now with Josh.

The CASA is also the legal voice or advocate for the minor child in the foster care system, just like a parent. Josh said to my friend recently, "Do you realize that you are the only adult I've known for more than 6 months?" That's worth a million dollars right there. And the CD is only $13.99 at any Borders Books and Music Location in San Diego. (You can get it online too. Visit www.AuthenticRock.com

And to all the CASA's out there... Thanks from KPRI and all of us at sandiego.com. If you want to make a difference, find out more about Voices for Children.