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The best kept secret in music


"Lancaster New Era"

When Brian Heisey settles in behind his drums Saturday night in Elizabethtown, he’s adding another chapter to his upbeat story of community service.
The energetic 21-year-old Millersville University student has a proven way with music—and with coaxing cash out of folks’ pockets and into the coffers of his favorite charity.
For Saturday, he’s organized a four-band concert at the Elizabethtown Veterans of Foreign War post to benefit the Milagro House, a long-term transitional shelter for women and children. But his work on behalf of Lancaster’s Milagro House and his own community goes way, way back.
Over about 2.5 months in late 2001, Heisey raised more than $7,000 for the shelter. That total, combined with $4,000 he collected earlier as a benefit auction coordinator, earned him the distinction of being MU’s 2001 Homecoming “charity king.”
Service is nothing new to Heisey, a senior biology education major. The son of Mr. and Mrs. William Heisey of 520 Mulberry St., Elizabethtown, said helpfulness is a trait his parents have encouraged all his life.
As an Elizabethtown Area Middle School student, for example, Heisey volunteered with Camp Ladybug for mentally handicapped children, and in high school he volunteered at the Masonic Homes, logging more than 100 hours.
When he settled in at MU, Heisey continued his volunteer work through the John Newman Association, the Catholic Campus Ministry.
During spring break in 2000, Heisey traveled to Puerto Rico with other JNA members to paint churches and help in the community.
“It was only for a week, but it was fun to get involved and help,” said Heisey.
It was through JNA that Heisey became involved with the Milagro House. JNA, along with area churches, volunteers its services to the independent shelter.
“It made an impact on me. We took kids to Park City and to the arcade. It was a fun experience, and I wanted to help the kids. I talked to the moms and liked them and wanted to help them, too,” said Heisey.
Milagro House does not receive government or agency funding. Instead, it relies on foundation grants and private donations, and so Heisey knew his contribution would really count.
“When Brian first approached us about doing ‘charity king’ for us, I was so impressed. He was so organized and it was so incredible how hard he worked,” said Renee Valentine, executive director of Milagro House, on South Christian Street.
“He is amazingly devoted and caring.”
Heisey first sent letters to five hundred previous shelter donors and asked for donations. That effort raised between $5,000 and $6,000, and he quickly met his campaign goal for MU’s student charity effort.
But then he increased he efforts and organized a car wash, sought business contributions, and encouraged his rock band, Giver, to donate proceeds from their gigs. At the end, Heisey had more than doubled his initial goal by raising just over $11,000, including the funds raised during the auction in June 2001.
In the fourteen months since being crowned “charity king,” Heisey has continued to volunteer at Milagro House, but now, with Saturday’s benefit concert, he’s back to his fundraising ways.
The VFW, at 81 Hershey Road, Elizabethtown, is donating space for the alcohol-free event. It’s open to all people of all ages, Heisey said.
Heisey’s interest in music began with piano lessons in second grade. A member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Elizabethtown, he plays keyboard during Mass there and accompanies his aunt, Linda Itzoe, who is the church organist.
In 2001, Heisey and three other college students formed a modern rock band, which they named Giver.
The young men came up with the name together in part based on a book, “The Giver,” by Lois Lowry. The book describes a perfect society. The name also represents the desire of Heisey and the other members to give to society.
“We like the idea of a perfect society and hope that by sharing our music we can bring happiness to people who hear music. We are a band that is in it for the music and for the fans,” he said.
Although the band was not created to do fundraising, Heisey hopes that the upcoming benefit will be the first of similar performances to come. The young musicians graduate from college in May and plan to spend the summer trying to expand their following. They’d like to land a record label.
But whatever the future brings for Giver, its members want to keep playing because they love to share their music, says their drummer.
“We all feel that way,” concluded Heisey. “We want to share our music with others and life people up.
- Susan E. Grubb, New Era Correspondent

"Lancaster New Era (01-16-03)"

Saturday night¡¦s four-band benefit concert at the Elizabethtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will feature central Pennsylvania musicians.
The concert, to benefit Lancaster¡¦s Milagro House, a long-term transitional shelter for women and children, begins at 7:30pm and runs until about midnight. The post is located at 81 Hershey Road, Elizabethtown.
The three-dollar admission fee will go to Milagro House; band merchandise will also be sold, with a portion of proceeds going to the shelter. Concertgoers may also make tax-deductible donations to Milagro House.
Here are four bands scheduled to perform, in order of appearance:
„h Shuttlecock. Formed in 1998 and originally named ¡§Side Effect,¡¨ this Indie rock three-piece band is based in Elizabethtown. Its members, all Elizabethtown Area High School seniors, are Hans Wheelersburg (bass/vocals), Mark Heisey (guitar/vocals), and Brittany Hoffman (drums). Their debut EP ¡§Take One for the Team,¡¨ is due out in late February.
„h Herbie. Herbie is a jam band based at Lebanon Valley College.

„h Leisure Van. This three-member power pop band from Lancaster County comprises Jason Keener, Steve Reaggs, and Neil Martin.

„h Giver. Members of the four musician group are Central Penn College students Andy Fausnacht (vocals/guitar) and Jason Barshinger (bass) and Millersville University students Ben Pierson (guitar/vocals) and Brian Heisey (drums). The modern rock band formed in January 2001 and in 2002 it recorded a four-track demo CD with Progressive Enterprises. The demo includes the band¡¦s first song ¡§Evacuate.¡¨
- Susan E. Grubb, New Era Correspondent

"The Press and Journal"

On Sat., Jan. 18, from 7:30pm-midnight, four local bands are hoping to raise the roof and a lot of money to help a group of homeless women and children help themselves.
Band members from the rocks groups Giver, Shuttlecock, (an Elizabethtown Area High School Band), and Leisure Van decided to get together at the Elizabethtown VFW to raise monies for the Milagro House, a long-term transitional shelter for homeless women and children located in southeaster Lancaster City. A fourth unannounced band will be joining the lineup that evening. Brian Heisey, 21, Elizabethtown resident and drummer for the band Giver, is the driving force behind the upcoming fundraiser.
Heisey’s relationship with Milagro House goes back less than a year. The Millersville University student said that every fall a Charity King and Queen are selected for Millersville’s homecoming parade. The King and Queen are chosen based on the amount of money they raise for a charity of their choice. Heisey, sponsored by the John Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, started his fundraising campaign at the beginning of the semester. He chose the Milagro House because he “likes helping people and he likes what they [Milagro House] do.”
“I feel tied to this [Milagro] house. I still go down and hang out with the kids there,” Heisey said.
Heisey’s campaign consisted of writing and sending out 500 letters to businesses, organizations and private individuals seeking donations for the shelter. He also organized car wash fundraisers. He raised a whopping $11,000.
Milagro House Executive Director Renee Valentine said that Heisey’s fundraising is very important. She said that the shelter receives no government funding nor are they United Way recipients.
“All our funding comes from the local community. It has been a little slack lately because people are scared. Businesses have lost a lot of money in the stock market,” Valentine said. “What Brian does for us is important. Plus he’s a cool kid.”
The shelter opened in 1998. The average resident is 28 years old with two children. Valentine said that most end up there due to an abusive relationship. Unlike other shelters that provide temporary housing, Milagro House is more long term.
“All the women who reside there are either in school or working, making a better future for themselves. Some of the women have been here for two year. Training to get ahead is the idea,” Valentine said.
There are currently 16-17 families living at the shelter with a total of 35-36 children. Valentine said that “God has definitely smiled upon this endeavor.”
“There are three different types of housing available; there is a house with eight bedrooms, a house with living space and apartments for women established in a job who pay rent. We are opening another house at the end of winter; it will house at least six more families,” Valentine said.
Heisey and the rest of the band members are excited and looking forward to the upcoming fundraiser. Due to the benevolence and support of the local community, they anticipate a good turnout.
“The VFW, on Rt. 743, is donating the building. There will be a small cover charge with all the money going directly to Milagro House. There will be rock and a little punk influence, we hope to pack the building,” Heisey said
- Shirley Ely


Giver - EP - 2002
Progressive Enterprise Studio Compilation - 2003
Seventh Annual Millenium Music Conference Compilation CD - 2003
Under The Radar Volume 2 Compilation CD - 2003

"Without", "Evacuate", and "Where I Fall" have all been featured on 105.7 The X - WQXA


Feeling a bit camera shy


One cold January night, four musicians came together not knowing what their futures might hold. Brian, a talented drummer, who was an avid musician throughout high school, met Tim Gast in a college class. Tim had been playing bass in various bands and was looking to start a new project. With the encouragement of Brian and Tim, two other musicians were convinced to give this new project a try. First, there was Ben Pierson, a guitarist of five years, who also had many experiences playing in garage bands. He co-founded the college band, Lucid, which later unfolded because their drummer left the band. Andrew Fausnacht was chosen due to his extensive singing career and outstanding musical talent at playing the guitar. These four comrades met together in Brian’s basement in January of 2001 and wrote their first song together entitled Evacuate. At this point, they all knew that together their musical talents could be integrated to form the Lancaster-based rock band known as Giver.

Giver continued to write songs and play out, always captivating audiences wherever they performed. After listening to Giver play, Neil Martin, of Third Octave Records decided that the band had the potential for success. He convinced Giver to record a four track demo at Progressive Enterprises during the Winter of 2002. With this demo made, Giver slowly began to form a huge following in the central-Pennsylvania area.

However, the band had its first major setback when Tim graduated in the spring of 2002. Tim, a native of New Jersey, decided that it would be best if he moved back home to get a job and pay off his college debts. Understanding, his situation, the rest of the band bid Tim farewell and began the cumbersome process of finding a new bass player. After a long search, they finally found a very talented musician. Jason Barshinger, an outstanding bass player from the area, attracted the bands attention from the moment he started his tryout. After more practices with Barshinger, Giver decided that he would be the talent they needed to fill the huge void that was created when Tim left. With a new bass player in the band, Giver was again able to begin playing local venues in the area. They now travel around central-Pennsylvania, playing the music that they create together and love to share with their fans. They center catchy hooks on driving guitar riffs laced with complex drum parts. Andy Fausnacht, Ben Pierson, Jason Barshinger, and Brian Heisey will take you on a musical journey that will leave you wanting more.