Bob Beshara handing over a new guitar to Sean Trottier of Guitars for Vets, along with Class Axe employee, Amanda Fricker

A volunteer-led program that puts guitars into the hands of veterans has arrived in North Grenville. Guitars for Vets Canada is an initiative that aims to match wounded veterans with guitars and guitar instructors. “Putting the healing power of music into the hands of heroes,” says their website.

Bob Beshara, of Class Axe Guitars in Kemptville, heard about the program a few years ago. When the program finally made it to the Ottawa area, Bob was quick to offer his services and even donate a brand new guitar to the initiative. “My guitar got me through a bad divorce,” he said. “Music is therapy.”

Class Axe is now the depot for guitar donations for the Ottawa Valley. “If there is somebody who has a guitar in a closet, a basement, or under a bed, that isn’t being used, they can drop it off here and we will refurbish it,” Bob says. “We will make it playable free of charge.” Bob will also connect vets in the area with one of his teachers for free lessons.

If more expensive guitars are donated, Bob says he will likely trade it in for several more affordable guitars, so more vets can benefit from the donation. It is estimated that 12 guitars a month are needed to fill demand in the area. “I’m glad I can help. “It’s my way of contributing, and we all have to do our part one way or another.”

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