Benefit aids local musician |

Benefit aids local musician

For 20 years, Josh van Baalbergen, 51, worked to enrich the Truckee community through his photography, literature, music, art and Channel 6 news program.

A group of concerned Truckee residents has organized a fundraiser April 8 at the Pastime Club downtown to assist Josh in his recovery from a debilitating stroke he suffered earlier this year.

“We’ve known Josh for close to 20 years,” Truckee resident Sharon Freeman said. “He’s helped us out in so many ways and he’s been very helpful in the community. We’d really like to see the community come out and support him – he really needs it.”

Josh, a left-handed graphic artist, illustrator, guitarist and comic strip author, was stricken with paralysis of his left side by the stroke he suffered in February.

“His mind is great and his memory and speech are intact,” Freeman said.

He is currently in residence at the Chico Creek Care Center for Rehabilitation where his mother, a resident of Paradise, visits regularly to coach him through the recovery process. Josh’s three sons: Brian, Mark and Chad, from southern California, and his two surviving brothers, from Nevada and Texas, have also devoted a great deal of energy to helping ensure Josh is surrounded by loved ones during his therapy.

“Josh has a great sense of humor,” Freeman said. “In the deepest moment he can make everyone laugh.”

Now his friends are hoping they can help brighten his days like he has done for so many of them on many occasions.

The Benefit for Josh begins at 2 p.m. Saturday and will go as late as his friends do. The party includes live entertainment by Jo Mama, Jeff Shook Blues, Kim Hollis and Pete Nevin with the Deck Heads. Door prizes, drink specials and good food add incentive to the cause.

“We have a friend,” the benefit fliers announce. “He needs our support.”

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