PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- Les Paul Roque is an accomplished musician who has toured with legendary bands, like Kool and the Gang and Sister Sledge. But these days, the dynamic piano player likes to use his talents to help families in need.
"Success is nothing if you don’t give back-- it's nothing," Roque said. "The glitz and glamour. Who cares?"
A few years ago, the kind-hearted pianist, who lives in Peoria, started a charity called “A Gift from Music.” During the holidays, Roque and his band of volunteers will raise money, then go on a shopping spree-- buying toys, food and clothing for struggling families. The gifts are delivered right before Christmas.
"Just to see their faces and their expression and their love for what we do," said Roque, who also holds local concerts and charity toy drives. "I thank God for these fingers because these fingers help generate some money so these families can win."
Barbara Kolessar is a new volunteer with A Gift From Music and was so inspired by what they're doing that she reached out to Arizona’s Family to Pay it Forward to Roque and his charity.
"Right now, we have 10 families," Kolessar said. "The more money, the more we can do." An Arizona’s Family crew followed Kolessar over to Roque's house recently so she could give him $500. "Because we love you so much for what you are doing, I got in touch with [Arizona’s Family]," Kolessar said. "They are here to support us and you. You help so many people, Les Paul, and we want to keep doing that, and we want to keep you giving and we need everybody to give and help you give. I am Paying It Forward with $500."
Roque spoke more about the importance of giving. "There's a lot of destitute out there, and we as human beings, need to reach out and help our brothers and sisters in need," he said.
A Gift From Music charity concert and toy drive will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, at Macayos Depot Cantina (300 South Ash Avenue, Tempe). The event runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, click here.