The Denstock Foundation was created in honor of Denis Downing by his daughter, Megan. He was a musician in NYC from the age of 16. He taught himself how to play multiple instruments and ended up owning Roxy Studios, a legendary rehearsal studio in Long Island City, Queens. Many local bands played there as well as famous artists such as WuTang Clan, Joan Jett, and Twisted Sister. Shows like 30 Rock were even filmed there! He welcomed all walks of life and treated everyone equally with respect. His generosity never ceased to amaze people. He took in high school students as interns to teach them the back line and behind the scenes set up of bands and instruments. He also gave kids instruments when they were interested in playing music.
When Denis passed away in October 2016, his daughter knew his generous and humble legacy couldn't end and Denstock was created! Denstock raises money for underprivileged children to have the opportunity to learn an instrument and experience the joys of music. Music is an outlet for so many people to express emotions and children shouldn't be deprived of that because of their socioeconomic status or where they grow up.
Unfortunately music programs across the country are limited because budgets have decreased and funds are going towards other academics. We want to help schools, foster homes, programs and more to continue giving children the opportunity to learn about music. Music also decreases depression and anxiety in people. The statistics show that mental illnesses are increasing in the world, especially in our children. If we can help children by giving them a positive outlet to express themselves, why not start here?!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to host our annual fundraiser. We still wanted to raise money for children in need during these challenging times. We raised over $1000 by hosting LIVE concerts on our Instagram (@denstock_foundation). The funds were used to purchase remote learning materials and constructive play items for children in low-income areas in NYC. Books, crayons, chalk, pencils, notepads, card games, music shakers and more were prepared in clear, reusable draw string bags for families to pick up at a safe location for their children.
Our 2019 fundraiser was held at Melrose Ballroom on July 11th in Astoria, NYC! We had about 300 attendees and raised over $2500. The proceeds were donated to St. Mary's Children's Hospital in Bayside, NY for their music therapy program. Children with varying disabilities have to live in the hospital due to their conditions. The music therapy program helps to regulate their heart rates and also boosts their moods!
September 20th, 2018 we expanded to an event in Maryland! Our team expanded and we couldn't be happier! The event was held at Milkboy Arthouse where we were in the top three selling shows they've ever had! We raised nearly $6000 for a middle school in Maryland! The hope is for them to expand their music program to after school in order to get students off the streets.
June 28th, 2018 we had our second fundraiser at Studio Square in Astoria, Queens. About 400 people attended and we raised about $2300 to enhance our foundation and donate to a special needs school in Jamaica, Queens! The new music teacher and therapists in the school are able to engage the students in activities and help them learn through multi-sensory learning!
May 8th, 2017 was our first fundraiser. It was held at Studio Square in Astoria, Queens. We had over 300 attendees and raised over $2500! The funds were donated to an elementary school in the Bronx. The music teacher was able to buy brand new instruments for all her classes and recorders for 3 full grades of students to bring home and keep! The students were ecstatic and have been learning about new interesting instruments and songs ever since!