Who We Help - Austin Pettit

I've been a working musician all of my life basically, playing the rock and roll gauntlet, practicing my trade, getting better at what I do, and making music a real career.

I "paid my dues" as they say, with a lot of hard work, ups and downs, the good and the bad and everything that goes with it. While I never became one of the top echelon in my industry, I was able to make a comfortable living doing what I love to do. I've done everything from playing at the smoky neighborhood bar to performing with national acts such as Grinderswitch and Bonnie Bramlett. Getting to work with some of the major icons in the business, traveling extensively over the US and Canada, and experiencing the camaraderie were all things I will never forget.

Around 1985 I moved back to Central Florida where I grew up. I was fortunate in the fact that I was able to help form The Groove Monsters, which became a Central Florida icon itself. Comprised of all professional veteran musicians who chose staying local rather than dealing with the road anymore. The Groove Monsters was such a popular entity we maintained two house jobs within a ten year span and were able to maintain a five-night-a- week schedule. Not to mention we got to perform the kind of music we loved (Blues, R&B, old Rock and Rolletc), and pretty much book only places we liked. I've really never seen it better on a local level.

I got married in 1987 and we have two terrific sons. I had opportunities to go back on the road but I wanted to be here for my family. Between my job and my wife's salary, we were able to save enough money to get our oldest through college and my younger son is now in his third year. We both worked hard to raise them right. In 2011, I became disabled but was still able to work. In 2013, my wife got laid off from her job at Kennedy Space Center. From that time, we have had to make ends meet with 1/3 of our salary. We qualified for "Florida Hardest Hit" which is a program to help disabled and/or drastically underemployed workers. They have paid our mortgage since January 2014 but will now be ending in January 2015.

The Sweet Stuff Foundation will make it possible for us to stay in our home and now 
since I can't work, I feel so relieved that I am contributing (on behalf of the Sweet Stuff Foundation) to our family's needs. Your impact on my family is indescribable. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A word from Tina, Austin's wife: Austin passed away yesterday 1/24/15. Our hearts are heavy but I was able to get most of this testimony written by Austin. I know he wanted to say more but just couldn't concentrate. Bottom Line: Your foundation is keeping our family in our home while we grieve the passing of this incredible man and musician. THANK YOU for everything you have done to help our family.

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