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Cleveland music teacher gathers local bands for virtual fundraiser to get 11-year-old student a service dog

Dog for Diego.jpg
Posted at 10:09 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 23:16:08-05

CLEVELAND — Dave Deitke, or Mr. Dave as he’s better known, said there’s nothing he loves more than sharing the gift of music with his students, especially his 11-year-old student Diego.

“At the beginning of the year Diego had a super big interest in the guitar,” he said.

Deitke teaches at Insightful Minds, a school that specializes in education for students who struggle in a traditional educational setting. Diego has autism, ADHD, depression, and severe anxiety.

“The anxiety, when it hits him, it really hits him hard and he needs to leave the room and he works a lot by himself,” he said.

When Deitke heard Diego’s family was raising money to get a service dog to help with his anxiety, he did what he could to help.

“That’s one thing I know I can do,” he said. “I’ve spent the last 10 years playing music and being creative in the Cleveland music scene and I can wrangle up a bunch of people to spread the word.”

And what better way to spread the word, than to sing it. Deitke gathered 16 local bands for a week of streamed concerts out of the Winchester in Lakewood and the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.

“It’s all going to be connected to Diego’s W.A.G.S 4 Kids account,” he said. “It’s just kind of a week long push of ‘Hey can you help?’”

The goal is to raise $9,000 to get Diego his service dog.

W.A.G.S 4 Kids is a charity based out of Berea that trains and places service dogs for those that need them, as early as they need them.

Sera Nelson is the executive director for the organization. She said getting the service dog will make all of the difference for Diego and his family.

“The family is able to then go and experience all these things,” she said. “Being in places and doing things with his family won’t cause him anxiety anymore because he has his dog with him.”

To stream the concerts via Facebook: click here.

To donate directly to Diego’s fundraiser click here.

The schedule for next week:

Monday, Jan. 25 at The Winchester
6:30 to 7 p.m. — Jinari Kemet
7 to 7:30 p.m. — Spiro.
730 to 8 p.m. — Eliy Orcko
8- to 8:30 p.m. — Uncle Gnarly

Tuesday, Jan. 26 at The Winchester
7 to 7:30 p.m. — Arron Malik
7:30 to 8 p.m. — All is Harvest
8 to 8:30 p.m. — Jul Big Green

Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Beachland Ballroom
7 to 7:30 p.m. — Midnight Buford
7:30 to 8 p.m. — Astral Radio CLE
8 to 8:30 p.m. — Sparrow and the Lost boys

Thursday, Jan. 28 at Beachland Ballroom
7 to 7:30 p.m. — Lilieae
7:30 to 8 p.m. — Lea Marra and the Dream Catchers
8 to 8:30 p.m. — Grav
8:30 to 9 p.m. — AJ & the Woods

Friday, Jan. 29 at The Winchester
6:30 to 7 p.m. — Chris wild
7 to 7:40 p.m. — Apostle Jones Band
8 to 8:40 p.m. — C-Level