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The Exhale Music Project Raises $40,000

  • May 26 2017

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    The Exhale Music Project Raises $40,000

    The Exhale Music Project rocked the Mansion at Uptown in Minneapolis, MN on May 18, with over 200 people attending and over $40,000 raised for lung cancer research. We at Free to Breathe are astonished by those results and so grateful that Andy Spence, Richard Ezrilov, and Neal Kraemer went above and beyond to host this fantastic event. We reached out to ask Andy some questions about The Exhale Music Project, and here is what they had to say.

    FTB: Where did the inspiration for the Exhale Music Project come from?

    Andy: The Exhale Music Project has been in the works for a long time. A group that met while volunteering for a local lung cancer non-profit founded it. After a few years, we became disenfranchised with the direction of the organization and decided we wanted to do something on our own. We tossed around a lot of ideas but every discussion came back to hosting a music event. Finally, one of the founding members, Neal Kraemer, got tired of talking and just hired a band. With the band booked all the pieces starting falling into place. With the help of many friends, family, and volunteers we were able to pull off a successful event.

    FTB: What is the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it?Mansion at Uptown

    Andy: The biggest challenge was just getting started. We talked about hosting an event for years. Once Neal Kraemer hired the band, we had no choice but to get to work! For some reason, we gave ourselves a tight timeline. We pulled off the event in two months! I don’t recommend this approach for all groups but it worked for us. Again, we had worked together on many other projects. Our respective roles quickly fell into place and we all trusted each other to get the job done.

    FTB: How did Free to Breathe help make this project a reality?

    Andy: The team at Free to Breathe was wonderful to work with. They were not just a beneficiary; they were our partners on this project. Free to Breathe provided administrative support so we could focus on promoting our event. They provided the technology that collected payments and managed registrations. Their creative team helped us create a logo and promotional materials. They also helped us promote our event through their extensive mailing list and social media channels.

    FTB: Were you surprised by the outcome of the project? If so, why?

    Andy: Admittedly, we were a little surprised about the outcome. We only had two months to plan for the event. We are so grateful for the support from our friends, family, sponsors, volunteers and the Twin Cities lung cancer community. We look forward to providing an outlet for those that have been impacted by lung cancer in our community for many years to come.

    FTB: What does the future hold for you and this project?

    Andy: Lung cancer isn’t going away anytime soon, and neither are we. Stay tuned for information on The Exhale Music Project 2018.

    Watch the Free to Breathe blog and social media for news and future dates for The Exhale Music Project. If you are interested in hosting a community DIY event like this one, visit or contact Sara Peterson at


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