Locos Por Juana took a special interest in Woodystock.
Locos Por Juana took a special interest in Woodystock.
Photo by Edwin Antonio

Locos Por Juana to Headline Woodystock, a Benefit Concert for the Paralyzed

It has been a big year for James "Woody" Beckham. While many people might foolishly think someone who suffers from paralysis — as Beckham has since 2011 — might slow down, Woody has proven just the opposite. He's spent the last 12 months graduating from FIU with a finance degree, starting a full-time job at the Center for Independent Living, and, of course, promoting the Woody Foundation. "I haven't promoted it as much as I would have liked," Beckham says humbly over the phone. But with the fourth-annual Woodystock Benefit Concert right around the corner, he's focusing up.

The Downtown Miami event will feature a performance by local Latin fusion favorites Locos Por Juana, who took an interest in the event because they also have a close friend who's quadriplegic and who, coincidently, ended up in the same recovery unit at Jackson Hospital as Beckham. There will also be plenty of food and drinks, and all proceeds from the event will go to the Woody Foundation. The nonprofit seeks to raise funds for people with paralysis. One of the charity's main campaigns has been to distribute something called "the Woody Pack." It's a backpack filled with 20 different devices meant to aid those living with paralysis, like cups with long straws and eating utensils that don't require grip strength. Woody created the kit after his accident so he could be more independent. The Woody Pack helped him accomplish tasks he once took for granted, and he wants others in his situation to have access to the same tools. 

James "Woody" Beckham speaks at last year's Woodystock.
James "Woody" Beckham speaks at last year's Woodystock.
Photo by Agree Music Photography

"I use the tools in the Woody Pack every day. I'm holding my phone with the phone case as I talk to you right now." Beckham's foundation sends out Woody Packs for free to anyone with limited hand function who requests one. "We depend on press so people can find out about it. We had an article on wheel-life.org that helped us get 300 requests for Woody Packs over the last year."

Some of those requests have really touched Woody. "I got an email that said, 'Your tools allow me to eat independently. Thank you.' Someone else made a video on YouTube going over how each tool helps them."

Woody is expecting more great responses like that at this year's Woodystock. "We have a great location for it in downtown. It's easy to access by Metromover and is entirely paved for people in wheelchairs, which makes it even better in my book."

Woodystock with Locos Por Juana. 5 p.m. Thursday, November 3, at Zest Miami, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; woodyfoundation.org. Admission is free.

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