Free Guitars for Future Stars (FG4FS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed in January, 2009, by Scott Neumann, Cheryl Neumann, and Matt Mickelsen. FG4FS is working to supply free guitars and guitar lessons to children, ages 10-17, from low-income McHenry County (IL) families. Many schools that are in financial trouble begin “fixing” their funding problems by eliminating programs. Music and Art programs seem to always be the first to feel the pinch. But even in a healthy school system, music programs rarely include applied lessons on the guitar. This leaves many children from low-income families without ever getting the chance to experience the joys of playing the guitar. Our mission is to help "Free Guitars for Future Stars" fill this void by making free guitars and lessons available to children from low-income families.
Scott has been playing the guitar for close to 50 years, and is also the Executive Director of Free Guitars for Future Stars. Nearing retirement as a Postal Carrier, and after giving private guitar lessons for many years, Scott’s vision was the inspiration to create FG4FS. Scott is the main instructor at FG4FS, and has helped form the teaching curriculum used. Scott’s hard work, dedication, and vision helped grow FG4FS to what it is today.
Dan is the owner of GTR (Guitar Technology Resources) in Spring Grove, Illinois. He is a guitar builder and teacher. We first met him when he was teaching some of our advanced students through Pearl Street Music In McHenry, Illinois. He and GTR perform our instrument repairs and teach our students how to build an electric guitar.
Jim is the grandfather of one of our students. Jim is helping us with the connections he has in the Harvard, Illinois, area. Jim is helping us reach more students and make a bigger difference in the Harvard area.
Tami and Stan McMillan joined FG4FS after two of their children graduated the FG4FS program. Two of our hardest working Board members, the McMillan's have been a fundraising wealth of knowledge and energy. We are happy that Tami recently stepped up into the position of Treasurer. Her strong support of FG4FS has been a benefit to the program.
Working with Scott and Matt Mickelsen, Cheryl helped found FG4FS in 2009. Helping to shape our pilot program, she has been invaluable as a supporter, board member, volunteer, and coordinator. Cheryl had been involved in education as an elementary school media specialist, and teacher’s aide for over 10 years before spending 11 years with Follett Library Resources. After retiring in April of 2014 Cheryl has been working even harder with FG4FS.
Stan McMillan is our raffle specialist and one of the world’s hardest working men! One of our newest Board members, Stan has been a huge help with our fundraisers.
Gerry Fitzmaurice is a self-taught guitar player who has been playing for over 47 years. He has taught several friends how to play guitar. Gerry is a strong advocate for the Free Guitars for Future Stars organization, assisting with fundraising and marketing. Gerry currently works for Morgan Stanley, where he has been for over 39 years
Matt Mickelsen is a founder and past President of FG4FS. As Matt moves on to other ventures he continues to be an important part of our program. His problem solving abilities and knowledge of our programs have made him a valuable member of our Advisory Board.