Monday, October 14, 2013

Fund-raising campaign launched
to help Clark Terry with medical expenses

Legendary trumpeter, jazz Hall-of-Famer, and St. Louis native Clark Terry is in need of help from his many fans and friends.

As regular readers of this site may know, Terry, 92, has had serious health problems in recent years, including the loss of both legs to diabetes. Despite this, the venerable jazz master remains upbeat and still is able to enjoy a good quality of life with his wife Gwen at their home in Pine Bluff, AR.

On good days, he's able to see visitors, and he continues to keep in touch with friends and fans and even give music lessons to students, old and new, via Skype.

However, staying in his home means that Terry (pictured) needs attention from a skilled home health care worker, and that's costly, to the tune of $72,000 per year, or about $200 a day.

That cost and other medical expenses are not covered by Terry's insurance, and are more than he and his family can afford, for while the trumpeter's long career has brought many honors and vast amounts of friendship and love, it unfortunately has not yielded a level of financial remuneration commensurate with his vast contributions to music and culture. In a truly just cosmos, someone like Clark Terry would never have to worry about money, but that's not the universe we live in.

As a result, a fund-raising campaign has been launched to help with the costs of his care, so that Terry can remain in his home and, as he puts it, "keep on keepin' on."

The donation page on Terry's website offers several ways that fans and friends can help, including tax-deductible donations to a fund designated for Terry at the Jazz Foundation of America, and direct donations to Terry via PayPal or mail.

Earlier this year, StLJN's readers made their voices heard, joining jazz fans from all over the world to help elect Clark Terry to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Hall of Fame.

Now, there's another chance to step up and show our gratitude and support for one of the greatest musicians ever to come from our town. If you can't make a financial contribution, you still can help, simply by spreading the word about the fund-raising campaign and the link: http://clarkterry.com/#/donate/.

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