Free Guitars for Future Stars

About Us

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

Mission Statement

Working to supply free guitars and guitars lessons to children, ages 10-17, from lower-income McHenry County (IL) families.

Board of Directors

Sarah Stegeman – Vice-President


Scott Neumann – Executive Director

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.

Lynn Schnelker – Secretary

Lynn brought the FG4FS program to McHenry East High School in 2011. Lynn has been a motivated supporter of FG4FS ever since. Her commitment to keeping music in the educational growth of children lead her to joining the FG4FS Board.

Tammi McMillan – Treasurer

Tami and Stan McMillan joined FG4FS after two of their children graduated the FG4FS program. Two of our hardest working Board members, the McMillans 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.

Cheryl Neumann – Director

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.

Ed Hall – Director

Ed Hall is a national finger-picking champion and a valuable resource for FG4FS. Working as a teacher, fundraiser, spokesman and Board member, Ed’s talents have brought much attention to FG4FS. He has generously shared his talents with students, teachers, and potential donors. Ed has been a key member in our fundraising efforts, entertaining guests as they learn about FG4FS.

Stan McMillan – Director

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.

Dave Martin – Director

Dave started working with FG4FS as a teaching assistant. Dave works as a teacher at McHenry West High School and is currently being groomed to be the FG4FS president!

Michael Neumann – Director

Mike Neumann brings a valuable knowledge of grant writing and fundraising to FG4FS. A Grants’ Associate with Turning Point and ex-newspaper editor, Mike has done much to improve our writing capabilities. He has been handling FG4FS press releases and newsletters, along with providing essential input on our advertising efforts.


Advisory Board

Matt Mickelsen

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 an valuable member of our Advisory Board.