James “Woody” Beckham thinks some fundraisers can be a little too expensive for the general public to attend. He would know. His nonprofit, the Woody Foundation — which he says has raised over $1.5 million for people living with paralysis — hosts a lobster meal, golf outing and fishing tournament every year that aren’t exactly light on the wallet.
That’s where Woodystock comes in.
“Most of our other events are expensive, so we want to have a community event for everyone who may not be able to afford the other events,” Beckham says of the free benefit concert, which takes place November 30 at Zest Miami. “We’re able to fund the event through sponsors and donations and we’ll have a tent selling Woody Foundation shirts.”
Woodystock is an opportunity for Beckham to inform the public about the charity he and his family launched after he suffered a rugby injury in 2011 that left him a quadriplegic. He is especially proud of the “Woody Pack” his foundation puts together and ships for free to people living with paralysis. There will be a tent at Woodystock giving away these kits — which include assistive devices such as a cell phone holder and special fork and spoon — to those who are eligible.
Local Latin funk band Spam Allstars are scheduled to headline this year’s concert while cover band Ripcord will serve as the opener. In February, Spam Allstars released Trans-Oceanic, their first record in a decade and sixth overall. Past Woodystock performers have included singers Cris Cab and Maxi Priest.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Beckham says he attends one or two concerts a month, often at Culture Room. You can also find him these days at his job at the Center for Independent Living of South Florida, where he’s worked since graduating with a finance degree from FIU two years ago. And when he can, Beckham personally delivers Woody Packs or calls those who have ordered them.
“I talked to one woman on the phone recently who started crying because she’s losing function in her hands and thinks she has ALS,” Beckham says. “I gave her tips on products to use that have helped me. She seemed thankful to have someone give her advice and listen to her. Things like that give me goosebumps. As great as it is to get on stage [at Woodystock] and talk about myself, that’s not what it’s really about. This is about helping others.”
Woodystock. With Spam Allstars. 6 p.m. Thursday, November 30, at Zest Miami, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; woodyfoundation.org. Admission is free.