The term “legacy” is something that gets tossed around a lot these days. A quarterback can build his legacy by throwing hundreds of touchdowns and winning championships, while a pitcher can achieve greatness through having a low earned run average and consistently causing batters to swing and miss.
In the business world, a person can build a legacy by checking off personal goals and rising through the ranks of his or her company, and a regular, everyday person can make their own legacy through charitable acts and impacting the lives of those around them.
Legacies are what we remember when we think of great people in their respective fields. These people touched the hearts of those around them or reached significant milestones in their careers that caught the attention of everyone.
The Ben Meyer Foundation, created by Tommy Meyer, of Meyer Financial Group, Ricky Meyer, and a group of board members is looking to honor Tommy and Ricky’s late brother, Ben, by leaving a legacy of giving. After years of giving to various charities in Ben’s name, the brothers sought out a way to better facilitate the funds and continue honoring Ben’s charitable nature. Thus, the Ben Meyer Foundation was born.
“It was a great opportunity for me to honor my brother’s memory,” Tommy says. “The foundation pretty much embodies who he was. Ben was the type of person who gave. Even though he was very young, that’s what he was known for, being generous and helping people who needed it. At the same time, he was very good with children. He was a Tae Kwon Do instructor, and even though he was a student at Nicholls, he was a substitute school teacher.”
Following his brother’s passing in 2001, Tommy wanted to find a way to honor the giving nature of his brother that gave so much to the community around him. “It’s kind of a way of leaving a legacy for him, and it’s a good way to do it. That’s the primary reason for starting the foundation,” he says. “It’s a private charity, and all the profits from the music fest, which is the primary donor to the charity, are given to the community. The best way to facilitate that was through a foundation.”
The brothers and the board are still in the development phase of the foundation as they enter the second year of the Acadia Music Fest, the foundation’s primary fundraiser. Last year, Upside Downs received funds from the first iteration of the festival, and the group is looking to continue providing money to the community and helping it flourish.
This year’s iteration of the festival will feature a lineup headlined by Cowboy Mouth and Better Than Ezra, something that Tommy is very excited about. “If you think about an era of maybe the 90s/early 2000s, the bands that you saw that were regional acts were Cowboy Mouth and Better Than Ezra,” he says. “To be able to put those two bands on one stage in one place, was just a dream come true. That credit goes to Amy Hebert, who has worked tirelessly to make sure that this event is over the top.”
The hard work Amy put in is reflective of the board’s efforts to do all they could to help Tommy and Ricky honor the memory of their brother, Ben. And they will continue to strive to make Acadia Music Fest a wonderful event for everyone as the years go by.
“The ultimate theme will always remain the same. Amy and our team have done a terrific job in patching up some of the holes we had in the first year. Going forward, we hope to make it bigger and better every year. We don’t want it to ever become stale,” Tommy says of the board’s efforts. “They wanted the foundation for me. These people are family, and they treat me that way. To them, having the opportunity to honor Ben kind of just snowballed. The music fest is going to give the money away anyway; we’re not keeping the money. If you flow it through a foundation, it’s so much easier.”