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Helping Hands: CAMMO

At Easterns Automotive Group, we believe in the power of community and the transformative impact of music. Recently, we had the honor of supporting an incredible organization that uses music to inspire and heal individuals across the country. We teamed up with 7News to surprise the Center for American Military Music Opportunities (CAMMO) with a Helping Hand donation.

Cathie Lechareas, a proud U.S. Navy veteran, co-founded CAMMO with a vision to bring the healing power of music to those who have served our country. “I was a cryptologist, many years ago, nothing to do with music. Nothing at all,” Lechareas shared. Despite her early career in the Navy, music has become an integral part of her life and mission.

CAMMO manages artists and singing groups nationwide, all of whom are connected to the military community. Whether they are spouses, children, or veterans themselves, these performers find solace and inspiration in their musical endeavors. The organization was born out of Lechareas’ work with veterans struggling with mental health issues, recognizing the profound effect music can have on emotional well-being.

“Trying to find an alternative to just using medication, and music is what I used. So it made me feel better, so why not?” Lechareas explained.

What began as a small initiative has now grown into a powerful force. CAMMO’s performers have sung in front of thousands in stadiums and millions on television. Beyond managing their schedules, CAMMO also holds songwriting workshops to nurture future artists.

Stephanie Shaker, a Marine wife, rediscovered her passion for music through CAMMO. Now a member of the American Military Spouses Choir, Shaker said, “It was definitely a dream come true to have the opportunity. It was always something I wanted to do, but I was always told to be practical and find stability, and music may not be the way to do that.”

These artists help each other cope with the challenges and trauma that come from military service. “We are able to go into those environments and just present ourselves as instruments to help facilitate healing,” said Army veteran Caleb Green.

Through every performance, they continue to serve their country by inspiring others. “If it can happen to us, the same thing and we’re there, it can happen for you. Take that chance, roll the dice, get out there, and live life,” encouraged Army veteran Reese Brown.

To support CAMMO’s mission, Easterns Automotive Group and 7News presented a $2,200 check. Lechareas mentioned that this generous donation will fund their next songwriting workshop, benefiting many people by spreading messages of hope and healing. “That will benefit so many people because what’s written, what’s shared, it goes out to so many people. You never know who you’re going to touch,” Lechareas said.

We are proud to support CAMMO and their efforts to make a difference in the lives of those who have served our country. Their dedication to using music as a source of inspiration and healing is truly commendable, and we look forward to seeing their continued impact on the military community.