BATTLE of the BANDS
Student fundraiser promotes awareness of neurological conditions
by Katherine Poole | photography by Marc Ridel Creative
One would be hard-pressed to find a family that has not been impacted by a neurological dis- order—stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, just to name a few. For high school student Charlotte Fullbright, it is her grandfather. “He had a stroke before I was born,” she says. “He is paralysed on the right side of his body and his speech is impaired by aphasia, a communication disor- der that is a side effect of the stroke.”
The junior at Broughton High School is also on the varsity basketball and volleyball teams. “As a student athlete, concus- sion is always at the forefront of our minds when we play,” she says. With her grandfather, family and teammates in mind, Fullbright was inspired to start up an event that would raise awareness for neurological health.
As a fan of live music who’s tuned into the garage band scene amongst her peers, Fullbright settled on the idea of a music competition for students—Maintain Your Brain: Battle of the Bands, which held its inaugural event on the front lawn of Broughton High School in March 2019. Over 300 people attended the event, which raised over $20,000 for the Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited, the non-profit Fullbright partnered with for the event. The organization serves individuals and families affected by aphasia through therapy, training, education and support.
Fullbright had no difficulty finding help getting Battle of the Bands off the ground. Maura Silverman from the Triangle Aphasia Project provided guidance setting up the fundrais- ing component. Mark Thompson, a family friend from church and the owner of the Lincoln Theatre, helped troubleshoot the logistics. He also provided the first place prize for the winning band: an opening gig at the Lincoln Theatre. (Last year, The Buzzard Band from Holly Springs High School opened for British blues rock guitarist and singer Joanne Shaw Taylor.)
“Everyone can find something to enjoy,” says Fullbright. “Some people come out for the music, some come for the food, some just come to hang out.” Fullbright hopes that no matter why folks come, they leave with a good head on their shoulders.
1 p.m.; from $5; 723 St. Mary’s St.; maintainyourbrainnc.com