John Greenwald: Garage Band on a Mission

By Sally Anne Flecker | Fall 2015

Printer Friendly

When John Greenwald (EMBA ’97) graduated from high school in 1978 in Ludington, Michigan, he and his guitar-playing buddies scattered to the four winds.

Ludington is a picture-perfect town on Lake Michigan with a population under 10,000, whose sandy beaches and lighthouse attract throngs on summer weekends. When Greenwald’s father died six years ago in early July, friends who came to pay their respects mentioned that they’d been getting together to play music informally every year around the Fourth of July. The gathering had been, fittingly, in someone’s garage, although it had outgrown that setting by that time. They invited Greenwald, a consultant living in Atlantic Beach, Florida, to join them the next year.

He did, calling on the members from his old band in Detroit, the Sweaty Fat Ugly Guys.

That year, they decided to collect donations for charity — a simple pass-the-hat that raised $509. “We were pretty happy about that,” says Greenwald. He began talking with a few friends about the potential for bigger things.

Before you know it, they’d formed a nonprofit, organized a board, and were spending every Saturday on a two-hour conference call hammering out the mission and strategy for Ludrock (a mash-up of Ludington Rock). Last year, the event, held in a scenic lakefront park, spanned two days and included 52 bands. Ludrock has raised more than $100,000 for local charities.

Greenwald is insistent that his role involved little more than coaching; there were others who had the vision and stepped forward as leaders.

“The whole community comes out, almost as if it is a giant class reunion from all years of Ludington High School,” says Greenwald, adding that the event is organized down to the minute and run by a boatload of passionate volunteers. “The whole goal is to give back. That’s an overused term, but Ludrock truly started with people who love our little beachfront community and are inspired and dedicated to raise funds for local charities.”

www.ludrock.com   

Related Items

Categories

  • Salt and Light12
  • Salt & Light 4900
    The Amato Family: Fancy Pants 4910
    Holly Powers: The Power of One 4901
    Mike Anello: The Buzz 4908
    Karen Kenny: They Can’t Take That Away from Me 4902
    John Greenwald: Garage Band on a Mission 4904
    Kevin Kreutner: Adopting a Country 4906
    Matt Knott: The Circle of Faith 4909
    Stephen Keppel: What a Difference a Year Makes 4907
    Thomas Jindra: The Mustard Seed 4903
    Marissa Gebhard: The Buddy System 4905
    More Salt & Light 4911
  • Class Notes1
  • Alumni Community: Class Notes 4935
  • Ask More of Business1
  • Mendoza Student Leadership Association (MSLA) 4958
  • Mendoza News10
  • AIMING FOR A Legacy 4836
    A Global Vision 4837
    Happy Feat 4891
    "I Raised My Hand" 4888
    Training Intuition 4887
    A Closer Look at the Numbers 4890
    Pie for Everyone 4898
    Chopstick Negotiations 4899
    That Gummy Bear is Calling Your Name 4892
    Mendoza Welcomes New Faculty 5087
    An Unplanned Return: Bill Schmuhl Jr. 4838
  • Mendoza Profiles3
  • The Right Time 4929
    A Tanzania Adventure: Mt. Kilimanjaro 4930
    IT Girl 4933
  • Alumni Community5
  • Alumni Community: Class Notes 4935
    Three Brothers/One Mission 4936
    Andria Seneviratne: A Leap of Faith 4937
    Perry Dellelce: A Canadian Ambassador For Notre Dame 4938
    Eric Huang: Fitting 4939
    In Memoriam 4940
  • First Person2
  • Gulf Coast Motels and the Second Coming 4941
    Thoughts of Ted 4956