Win Katy Perry-Signed Guitar At Girls Rock Camp Benefit Thursday

Girls Rock Camp Houston recently surpassed its fundraising pledge goal with room to spare, but that doesn't mean the hard work is over. This week the nonprofit, which organizes a musical summer camp for girls aged 8-18, will have two more fundraising events to help buy supplies for the inaugural camp and help ensure the continuation of the event into future years.

Thursday's silent auction at Lucky Strike Lanes will include the auction of three guitars signed by pop-music mavens Fergie, Duffy and Katy Perry. Perhaps in an effort to demonstrate the myriad ways in which girls can rock, Friday's benefit show at The Ponderosa will feature local punk bands P.L.F., Obama Nation and The Delta Block.

"People can still pledge funds, up until August 1," said GRCH founder and executive director Anna Garza. The camp is scheduled for August 9-13 at the University of Houston's Moore School of Music.

Girls Rock Camp Houston had set up a fundraising account on Kickstarter, a website where people can make donations to various causes, but Kickstarter's all-or-nothing fundraising strategy meant that GRCH had to raise at least $3,000 in pledges, or they would get nothing at all.

On July 7, a post on the local music forum Hands Up Houston helped push the pledges into the green zone. The organization now has $3,362 in expected funding, but every dollar over that amount help towards making sure this year's camp and future camps are as successful as possible.

Claudia Solis, sales manager at Lucky Strike, said tomorrow's fundraising event is part of the company's Striking Difference community-outreach program: "It allows our audience to determine how we're charitable within each market."

Lucky Strike opened its first Houston location downtown in October.

"This is one of the first trial runs with the program locally," Solis said. Lucky Strikes picked the nonprofit because of Solis' previous involvement with some of the GRCH organizers. From 11 a.m. to midnight, the upscale bowling alley inside Houston Pavilions will offer happy hour prices on all drinks and food. Anyone who brings a GRCH flyer (left) can have 20 percent of their tab donated to the nonprofit.

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Members of Girls Rock Camp Houston will be at the lanes from 5:30 p.m. onward to coordinate the silent auction. All ages are welcome to the fundraiser for bowling and games until 8 p.m., when the venue switched to a 21 and up policy. In addition to the three guitars, which were donated by Guitar Center Houston, the auction will also include passes to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Health Museum, Alley Theatre, animal scarves by Rachelle Vasquez and more.

"Those guitars are really beautiful," Garza said. "The ones signed by Katy Perry and Duffy are butterscotch Fender Squire Teles. The one signed by Fergie, I wish I could bid on it. It's a black SG Epiphone."

With less than a month left before the first ever Girls Rock Camp Houston, Garza said she is busy organizing final details, and admits she's a little bit nervous. "It's a good nervous energy," she said.

The camp has reached its enrollment limit of 30 girls, and has secured Walter's on Washington for the end-of-camp showcase. "They were the only venue that stepped up and volunteered their space free of charge," Garza said. "So kudos to Pam [owner Robinson] and her staff for that."

Garza said one of the classes offered at the camp will be an intro into guitar-smashing, an effort to teach girls assertiveness and alternate means of self-expression. Each girl will get a papier-maché guitar that she can personalize, and before the showcase performance each girl will have the chance to smash their guitar on stage.

The showcase, featuring graduates of the camp, will start at 4 p.m. August 15 and is all-ages. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the $5 cover charge will go into the funding of next year's camp.

If you would like to participate in the auction, but are unable to attend, or would like to contribute in any other way to helping girls learn to play rock and roll, please contact Media and Events Coordinator Rosa Guerrero at rosa@girlsrockhouston.org or Girls Rock Camp Houston Executive Director Anna Garza at anna@girlsrockhouston.org.

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