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The Runaway Hamsters: Runaway

This week I'm breaking my usual format of covering locally-produced music, but I wouldn't do so if it weren't for a very good and noble reason.

While recently checking out the website fark.com, I discovered a story about The Runaway Hamsters , a 4-piece band of young rockers made up of siblings that include 9-year old Isabella and 8-year old triplets Abby, Gabby & Riley Keen.

The Hamsters are already gathering a lot of press across the country from such outlets as KNCI in Sacramento, CA and KTVB in their hometown of Boise, ID - if not so much for their punkish West Coast sound as for their incredibly big hearts.

In April of last year, their friend, 10-year old Matt Dittrich, was diagnosed with cancer.  From there, The Hamsters and their mother and manager, Barb Keen, went into action.  Like many indie bands' first outings, it all started with a little help from friends and family.  Barb and her husband put up the money to produce the CD single, "Runaway," and to print the label. 

From there, it was up to the community - and the community responded.

As of the writing of this piece, The Hamsters have raised over $1,200 for their friend's treatment.  The Keen family donated $200 of that money to their school to start a scholarship fund for kids and families like Matt's.  The rest of the money will be donated in Matt's name to the Mountain States Tumor Institute and the St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise.

The CD is available at all Flatbread Neapolitan Pizza locations in the Boise area, and also on the band's Facebook page.  You can also email the band's management at therunawayhamsters@gmail.com if you would like to purchase a copy for your collection.

At this time of year, it is crucial that we, as humans, remember that giving to each other is what brings us together.  My heartfelt thanks go out to The Runaway Hamsters for being so creative and working so hard to do something special to help a friend in need.  And my most sincere thanks and congratulations to the people of Boise, ID for coming together as communities should. 

Happy holidays, everyone.

Jim is a Northern Kentucky native and a father of three. In his spare time, Jim likes to read, play ice hockey and watch foreign films. He currently resides with his family on the East side of town.