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Local InterestNobody Should Have to Fight Substance Abuse AloneBY VINCE PAVONEThe Kyle Pavone Foundation will con- nect people with critical resourcesCaroline and I have always believed in giving back to the community, and we’ve raised our children to do the same. Donat- ing our time, expertise, and money to the causes we care about in Battle Creek and beyond has always brought us joy.Our latest cause, however, has resulted from a tragedy that far too many families are facing. Kyle Pavone, our oldest child, died on August 25, 2018 following an ac- cidental opioid overdose. He was 28 years old. To say that we are gutted would be an understatement.The promise of the Kyle Pavone Foun- dation, which will be stewarded by Con- ner, Kyle’s best friend and brother, and Isa- bel, his adoring sister, is to help musicians and artists fight addiction, depression, and other mental health problems. The oppo- site of addiction is connection. The foun- dation will connect those in need with aprivate counselor, rehab facility, or support group before it is too late.It’s become common to refer to high achievers as “rock stars,” but I am not speak- ing metaphorically when I say that Kyle, a gifted singer, keyboard player, and pro- ducer, was an actual rock star. Along with his We Came As Romans bandmates, Kyle scaled the heights of stardom in the metal- core genre, and the band’s popularity had taken him around the world several times over when he was barely out of his teens.I mention Kyle’s fame not to boast, but to underscore the fact that even people who appear to be living their dream often battle addiction and mental health issues. In fact, many musicians and other artists – even highly successful ones – seem to struggle disproportionately compared to the general population. Maybe their inherent passion and sensitivity causes them to feel things too deeply. The highs are higher, but the lows can be devastating.Artists share the deepest part of them- selves to help other people feel something, and this comes at a cost. Yes, Kyle enjoyed adulation during his career. (If you go far enough down the We Came As Romans online rabbit hole you might encounter a photo of the woman with a tattoo of Kyle on her leg). But in recent years my son started to dread the vulnerability of expos- ing himself to “fans” who would viciously question his talent on social media.The Kyle Pavone Foundation recogniz- es that touring musicians and their road crews lead grueling lives. Most people who choose this career endure low pay, lit- tle sleep, and rough conditions in order to live their dream and give something to the fans. We want to ensure that Kyle’s com- munity of dreamers don’t have to face their dangerous struggles without support.If you would like to donate to this cause, please go to www.kylepavonefoun- PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THIS AD WILL BE CONTRIBUTED TO THE KYLE PAVONE FOUNDATIONCHARITABLE ISSUE I SCENE 4311 23

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