Can you tell us how LTD Foundation (LTD) began?
The organization was founded in 2007 by Scottie Somers, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at 3 months old. At that time, the average life expectancy of a person with this terminal disease was 16 years old. Scottie’s mother sat him down when he was 12 and explained his diagnosis; at that emotional moment, he said that he needed to be strong for his family and uttered the words “don’t worry about me, I will be the longest living person with CF.”
During the course of Scottie’s life, there have been several times when he has been very sick; by no means has this journey been easy for him, but thankfully, he gloriously turned 49 this past year. He might very well turn out to be the longest living person with CF; we sure do hope so! Going back: When Scottie turned 40, he realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life giving back to kids, sharing with and teaching them how to wrap their minds around living with a terminal disease—And that is how LTD Foundation was born. We create Dream Day’s for kids, offering a five star VIP experience at concerts, festivals and tours with their favorite artists.
The reason we are so focused on music is because Scottie played in a band called “Lefty” on a professional level. He toured all over the world and played with bands like the Foo Fighters, No Doubt and Blink 182. He has a rich history in music and developed a lot of priceless contacts throughout his career. That being said, It was organically natural and made perfect sense that LTD would fuse together Scottie’s two passions: music and helping kids.
“ The tents also became prime location for the meet and greets, which have a ton of press around them. ”
How does the selection process work for the Dream Days?
We get together with bands, tours and festivals, joining them on their upcoming events. Once we do that, we have them push out messages on their social media channels asking people to submit their stories to LTD for a chance to meet their favorite artist backstage. We get hundreds of submissions each year from people ranging in ages from 12 to 28. We match up band tour routes to terminal kids who have specifically requested to meet that artist. Most of the Dream Days fulfilled are done within the general area where the kids reside due to a lot of our guest needing medical treatment (like chemo, etc.) same day as their LTD VIP Experience. Another important point to note is that we are very careful to protect our relationships with the bands, tours, festivals and working personnel; we understand how busy they are and do all that we can to ensure all involved are respected and protected. Our number one responsibility is to provide a great Dream Day experience, special to not only our kid, but to all involved.
How did E-Z UP get involved?
One of our biggest tours every year is the Vans Warped Tour, where shade and water is a hot commodity. We’ve been using E-Z UP tents, banners and flags since our inception back in 2007, but last May, 2015, we thought it would be a great idea to partner with an instant tent company for some sun shelter for our LTD kids in-need. E-Z UP is by far the best out there, so we sent you an email. Your team was awesome and immediately joined us in our mission to protect the kids. We entered into a partnership agreement and E-Z UP donated 10 custom-branded LTD E-Z Up tents, which we distributed to many bands that we were working with on tour as well as the tour itself. The tents also became prime location for the meet and greets, which have a ton of press around them; it was a win win situation for all.
Where were the meet and greets held prior to having the pop-up canopies?
Before getting the tents, we did a lot of the meet and greets on tour buses, backstage or in the catering area. These festivals are so huge, so there were plenty of options, but it was always our first choice to meet under our custom LTD-branded tents. It was just a much better alternative—it felt better and was a cooler experience to meet under our own tents. Not only were they a better home-base for the meet and greets, but the custom instant tents also gave us a lot more brand visibility. The total attendance for the Warped Tour (there are 41 shows across the U.S. and Canada) was about 500,000 people, with an average of approximately 12,000 plus attendees per show. Annually, it’s our biggest initiative, and reciprocally, LTD has been one of Warped Tour’s major goodwill initiatives for almost a decade now.
“ It was just a much better alternative—it felt better and was a cooler experience to meet under our own tents. ”
What are LTD’s plans for the future?
To establish a solid, well-respected reputation within the music world “niche” that we live in and then build out from there; our desire is to be #1 in our space within the industry. Our hopes and wishes are to stand at the top of the mountain of success for the betterment of our terminal LTD Foundation kids, putting countless smiles on their faces and changing perspectives along the way. We want to achieve these successes hand-in-hand with both our Warped Tour family and our new E-Z UP family; “All for one and one for all.”
“ We bridge the music industry together with fans who have terminal diseases to help change their perspective on life through the healing power of music. "
- Scottie Somers,
Founder, LTD Foundation
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