Earlier this fall, Athens, Ga.-based suicide prevention organization Nuçi’s Space launched a fundraising campaign to help save the steeple of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, famous in R.E.M. lore as the site of the first gig by Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe on April 5, 1980.
Now that the original goal of $60,000 to save the steeple has been met, the organization is shooting for a total of $250,000 to fund a musicians’ resource center.
Nuçi’s Space, which is “aimed at the prevention of suicide in Athens’ music-making community through the obstacle-free treatment of depression and other related disorders,” will incorporate the 145-year-old structure into its property.
The organization writes of of the second phase of its campaign:
We are more than halfway to our goal of $250,000, but really need to get all the way there because of one fact: Our work is never done.
A year’s worth of subsidized appointments and youth outreach costs $151,000.
That includes 1200 subsidized counseling appointments for 250 uninsured musicians, at a cost of $48,000, and 1000 subsidized psychiatric appointments for 250 uninsured musicians at $52,000.
The cost of 40 scholarships to Camp Amped Summer sessions is $24,000 and 40 scholarships to Camp Amped After School sessions cost $12,000.
Access to discounted eye care appointments, providing meeting space for community support groups, and fundraising account for $49,800, bringing the total up to $250,000.
Anything we may collect above that will be used to create a reserve fund to ensure the long-term stability of the Nuçi’s Space programs and services. None will be used for administrative expenses.
The deadline to donate has been extended to Jan. 2, and those who do can bid for items from R.E.M., Pylon, Drive-By Truckers, Neutral Milk Hotel and more — including a rare Warner Bros./road crew jacket from 1989’s Green World Tour signed by all four members of R.E.M.
To donate and read more about the organization, visit its Indiegogo campaign page.
And, below, check out a video put together by Nuçi’s Space of Everett and Bianca performing “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” from inside the steeple.