By Paula Ann Solis
With no Baylor football game to attend this weekend, students can spend their Saturday night at Common Grounds sipping coffee, listening to music and helping fight cancer.
Common Grounds will feature six local artists, including three Baylor students, at 8 p.m. to help Braden James Guess, a University of Texas at Austin sophomore.
Guess is on the Texas 4000 cycling team that raises money for the LIVESTRONG Foundation and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Admission to Saturday’s concert is $5.
Guess, originally from Waco, is a first -time rider with the Texas 4000 cycling team that, since 2003, has trekked annually from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska The 4,000-mile journey is usually made in 70 days. Members of the team are asked to raise at least $1 for every mile they ride. Guess, who is riding in memory of his grandfather who died of lung cancer, said he wants to raise more than just $4,000 for the fight against cancer.
“My personal goal is $4,500,” Guess said. “I have about $3,600 right now, and I’m hoping with tickets sales, if at least 200 people show up, that’s $1,000. That’s my baseline for this show.”
When Guess joined the team and began brainstorming ideas to raise money, he said he knew one avenue would involve music because it is such a big part of his life. Guess plays the guitar, violin, French horn and piano. He will also play an acoustic set Saturday as part of the benefit show.
Other artists include Waco group Chiefly Palomino, Remington Stallard, Meredith Wilson, McGregor junior Art Wellborn and McGregor junior Trannie Stevens. Stevens, who is also an Uproar Records artist, said she has known Guess since high school and the two are close friends.
“He’s an amazing guitarist, and we’ve played together a lot in the past,” Stevens said. “When he called me up over the summer and asked if I would play, I didn’t even hesitate. I believe in what he’s doing and I’m excited for him and this great cause.”
Though a Longhorn now, Guess said he knew he could count on his Baylor Bear friends from Waco to come through for him and hopes the rest of the Waco community will also come out to support his fundraiser. His biggest fear right now is the possibility of a rained out show. If that should happen and the show is canceled, or if people interested in donating can’t make the show, donations can still be made by searching for Guess on the rider list at Texas4000.org.
On June 1, Guess will begin his 70-day journey and, though this will be his first long-distance trip, he said his fear of the unknown is also his motivation.
“I didn’t think I could do it at first,” he said. “That’s part of why I decided to do it, though. I figured I could have an awesome adventure, expand my horizons and all for a great cause.”