Bridging The Gap: In March of 2016, Bridging The Gap to Recovery was gifted an original guitar, autographed by Avenged SevenFold to auction to assist with our mission to help those in recovery. This guitar was secured by Jerry Montano of Death Division for BTGR to auction. This guitar was auctioned in July, 2016 and the winning bid was placed by Chris Westfall, a 20-year disabled USAF veteran. This was the beginning of a wonderful story! Chris, a musician himself is a dedicated fan of Avenged Sevenfold, and avid collector of Avenged SevenFold memorabilia and collects guitars. When Chris completed his 20 years of service to our country, he suffered from physical injuries and PTSD. Looking for hope during his darkest moments, he connected with Avenged Sevenfolds music, and particularly to the A7X song “Unbound”. When I contacted Chris about his winning the bid on the original guitar, we talked quite a bit and he expressed to me one of his life goals was to meet A7X just to let them know what their music meant to him and his surviving the PTSD. After hearing his story and getting to know him over several months, I decided that this was like a “Make a Wish” and it became my obsession to see it thru and get him in to meet Avenged Sevenfold so we could let them know just how important their music is to Chris, and so many others. I still don’t know how we pulled it off but we did! I contacted Jerry Montano along with everyone else I thought might make it happen, including BTGR Board members, Wes Geer, Sean Lenhoff , Darryl Cadiente, and thru Sean and Darryls efforts, we were connected to Avenged Sevenfold. After telling the story to countless people along the way, we were at last honored to receive VIP passes to the Sonic Boom concert in Janesville, Wisconsin on Oct 2, 2016. Tim Willis, BTGR Board member, and I drove out from Kansas City and met with Chris at the venue. Once there, we were greeted by their Tour Manager. He then escorted the three of us to the bands dressing room before the concert to meet and talk with them and let Chris tell his story, where Chris presented a second one of a kind Zacky Prototype Guitar, which all the guys from Avenged Sevenfold autographed! Chris has graciously donated this guitar back to BTGR for auction!!! While we were backstage, the band even face-timed Chris’ son, who is also military and deployed overseas, and is also a huge fan. I was awed!!!! They were more than great and welcomed us all with the utmost courtesy and grace! Then before the show we were guided to our spots, on side stage for their set and to enjoy the show with a special view!!! During the concert, Zacky came off to the side stage, where we were, and gave Chris guitar pics, and MShadow surprised us by taking Chris on stage and introduced him to the crowd!! What an absolute honor to view!!! It was amazing and fulfilling spiritually to be a part of Chris’ healing and watch him meet these guys! Something to definitely add to my bucket list! My deepest heartfelt thanks to Avenged Sevenfold for making this happen!!! Chris in turn, has joined Bridging The Gap to Recovery, and gifted us back this amazing one of a kind, Prototype Guitar. Along with a One of a kind Metallica Autographed Hockey Jersey to offer up on EBAY for auction. This Guitar will go live on EBAY March 1, 2017, at an opening bid of $1600.00. Soon the Metallica jersey will follow!!! Watch for our Auction event any day now to post!!!!
Hey guys, I know I have been absent for a long ass time now but I saw the guys last night, it was epic. Had to sing Almost Easy (well, the “I’m not insane” part) it was fun (even though Matt then said “yeah you are insane” thanks for that dude, I feel honored). I can’t sing for shit and I met Matt after the gig. Such a cute guy.
❤ yours truly
Regrann from @avengedsevenfold: Matts vocal coach Ron Anderson and Pipe Perez happened to be down the street in Zurich with The Weeknd while we played across town. Always great to see friends on the road.