APPLETON - An Appleton native and national recording artist is hoping his music will help save some lives in the Fox Cities Friday night.
Cory Chisel performed at the OuterEdge Stage in Appleton. All proceeds from the event will go to the CHAPS Academy in Shiocton. CHAPS stands for Children with Horses Achieving Productivity and Success.
Tonka is one of seven horses at CHAPS Academy in Shiocton. He's part of the "Hope Lives" program which provides equine-assisted therapy for youth suicide prevention and intervention.
"When I work with Tonka, he makes me frustrated to be completely honest with you and, but, it's really nice because he teaches me how to work through things I'm dealing with," explained 16-year-old Hope Lambie.
Lambie is more than a year and a half into the program.
"You know, I've gone through a lot of rough things and it's really nice being here, knowing what a horse can do for you," Lambie said.
Lambie is among more than 600 client families who've turned to CHAPS for their services. Program officials say its been a successful nine years.
"In those 600 families that received services, none of them have completed suicide," explained CHAPS Director of Development Erin Wilkum. "Our success rates cover reduced symptoms of depression, increase social skills."
Funds from the community help keep "Hope Lives" running. And Friday night's Cory Chisel concert expects to put more than $5,000 into the program.
"We always like to see people in the seats but knowing they're not only supporting music, which is what I love, but also a great cause that's very beautiful and needs a lot more support, I wish we could do three nights of this," said performer Cory Chisel.
And when it comes down to it, CHAPS officials say every penny counts.
"Parents and children looking for suicide prevention services can't afford the time to sit on a waiting list, so support from the community, donations, events that raise awareness help up sustain our programs," Wilkum explained.
"I'm really thankful for it, I don't know what I'd do without it," Lambie said.
Friday night's concert is part of the Community Events and Concert Series in the Fox Cities, which puts on concerts to raise money and awareness for different causes.
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