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Matt Nathanson concert benefits Alaina’s Voice Foundation

Matt Nathanson concert benefits Alaina’s Voice Foundation

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Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson will play a benefit concert in Napa for the Alaina's Voice Foundation on Aug. 15.

When Alaina Housley lost her young life as a victim of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks in 2018, her parents Hannah and Arik vowed to take action to save at least one other family from the same sorrow.

They started the Alaina’s Voice Foundation, a nonprofit designed to give help and support to those who need mental health assistance. Its website is www.alainasvoice.org.

“The Alaina’s Voice Foundation’s mission is to inspire hope and kindness in our communities through education, music, and mental health initiatives,” said Arik Housley, who has lived in Napa his whole life. “Now, and even before the pandemic, mental health struggles with depression and suicide are rising. We offer mental health bridge therapy to those who need it.”

“People call their providers saying they have thoughts of suicide, and they’re told they can schedule a doctor’s appointment in 30 days. That’s not the best option.”

Alaina’s Foundation provides support to access licensed therapists quickly.

To help the cause, BottleRock Presents, the producers of BottleRock Napa Valley, announced a benefit concert with Matt Nathanson. It will benefit Alaina’s Voice Foundation and local mental health support services in the Napa Valley. The concert will be on Sunday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. on the Oxbow River Stage in downtown Napa.

“Matt Nathanson was the fastest sell-out at the Mondavi concerts,” said Housley. “The tickets are priced at $25, and we expect good support for the concert. There’s no VIP section. We’re all together as a community. As I have said in the past, our community wrapped their arms around us with their love and support through our heartbreak. This is a way to give back to the community.”

Matt Nathanson, based in San Francisco, is a singer and songwriter. He had a 2007 multi-platinum hit, “Come on Get Higher.” His “Last of the Great Pretenders” in 2013 debuted at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and was #1 on iTunes’ Alternative Albums chart. Nathanson’s latest single “Used to Be” clocks a million streams a month.

BottleRock Presents helped bring Nathanson to Napa for the benefit concert.

“(BottleRock co-owner) Dave Graham is a good friend and is on our board,” explained Housley. “I grew up with Justin Dragoo and Jason Scoggins. We’ve all been friends for a long time.”

They are presenting the concert in partnership with Blue Note Entertainment Group and Another Planet Entertainment. Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.alainasvoice.org. Most of the money raised will go to support the therapists. All the funds stay in the Napa Valley.

Alaina Housley was an honors student who played violin in the orchestra, was on the varsity soccer team and served in student government at Vintage High. She was a freshman regent scholar at Pepperdine University and was on the Mock Trial Team. Her sophomore year was to be spent in Florence, Italy, with the study abroad program.

Out for an evening of music and line dancing, she was murdered along with 11 others in the mass shooting. She was the youngest victim.

“Alaina loved music,” Housley said. “She was musically talented; played piano, violin, guitar, taught herself the ukulele and sang.”

“Alaina’s Voice receives referrals through various victim’s rights groups in Napa Valley,” said Housley. “There are no questions asked and we don’t tell them who is offering these services.”

They’ve helped young people, veterans, domestic violence sufferers and parents of kidnap victims.

“For example, one of our patients had suicidal thoughts. He is a veteran and went through the VA. They treated him and sent him home saying he was fine. But he still had the thoughts. He tried to return to the VA, however, they refused to see him because he’d already received help and was pronounced well. We provided support until we could intercede with the VA to get him back into therapy.”

“There are so many things that happen in Napa Valley that people don’t know about,” he continued. “Victims who were stabbed in domestic disputes, a woman whose child was kidnapped by the child’s father.”

They help until patients can see their regular providers, or they complete therapy.

Part of the fundraising proceeds of the Matt Nathanson benefit concert will go toward the Alaina’s Voice Foundation’s scholarship program.

“We give scholarships to local high school teens who want to make changes in society. Youth are the ones who will make long-term changes. They will curb racism; they’re the ones who know it’s okay to ask for help. The older generation thinks there’s something wrong if you want therapy. I look at my 17-year-old son, Alex, who is interested in recycling and the environment. That’s the youthful enthusiasm we need.”

When asked how the family is coping, Housley pauses.

“We miss her every day but try to remember that we were blessed with her for 18 years. We’re a family who always thinks the glass is half-full. We were all able to work, have fun and travel as a family.”

“We try to stay positive.”

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