3 Total Strangers Found a Way
Imagine losing your mom. Now imagine losing your mom and your partner’s mom in the same year due to Alzheimer’s. This is how I was introduced to Susan Hilger and Tim Minkkinen, owners of Tahti Guitars in Charlotte, North Carolina. We spoke on the phone for about an hour and their goal was simple: they wanted a partner to help raise Alzheimer’s awareness and funds in honor of their beloved mothers named Marie & Helen.
Every year, Tahti Guitars designs and creates a handcrafted guitar to donate to a charity of their choice; and this year, Susan and Tim chose Run4Papa as the beneficiary with a goal of raising $7,500 for Alzheimer’s research (the exact value of the guitar). Tim built the “Marie-Helen” acoustic guitar which is a modern interpretation of a decades old American parlor guitar. These small guitars continue to gain popularity due to their ease of play, full sound and beautiful vintage tone. To see the evolution of pics, click here.
Besides being two of the kindest and most chilled people I have met in a long time, Susan and Tim share a mutually strong passion to bring more awareness and attention to Alzheimer’s while helping move the needle toward a cure. In two months, we ended up receiving over 130 individual donations from people around the world!
On March 26, we came together for a live drawing of the winner on Periscope.
With over 200 raffle tickets in our pot, Tom and Marianne Ludwig were picked and became proud owners of Marie-Helen. This was bittersweet for us because Marianne’s father was diagnosed and sadly passed away from Alzheimer’s. “My father was known as the world’s best hugger,” said Marianne. “Forget Tim’s incredible talent alone, this guitar is extra special and made with love.”
In a beautiful plot twist, their 10-year-old granddaughter, Natalie, recently learned to play guitar a couple months ago. This made gifting Marie-Helen to Natalie an easy choice for the Ludwig’s and she wasted no time in showcasing her newly found talent!