Hello, my name is Annie N Banke, and my husband's name is Chris Banke. He is a talented liturgical, praise & worship, and professional Roman Catholic-Christian musician.
We were just married this past June (see him playing guitar at our reception in the picture!). Chris has been a professional Catholic musician for over 8 years, since before I met him, and he has always brought smiles (and occasionally tears) to the faces of those he ministers to. This past Thanksgiving, I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and he said "Nothing, really. But if we were rich, I'd probably get a new guitar." You see, he had been playing this guitar, a Martin model, for over 4 years, and it had significant wear on it (it is literally "falling apart", but he has always appreciated his instruments, to the end of their lives). So, in an act of support, I told him that, the next day, Black Friday, he should purchase a new one. He paid for much of our wedding with money earned from his music & speaking ministry, and I thought he had earned a new one for himself. He bought a $900 Taylor (still a humble guitar compared to others, but he's never been extravagant about his instruments). He had never owned or played a Taylor before, and wanted to give the brand a shot, since he'd played a Martin for 4 years prior. Fast-forward only a few weeks, to Wednesday, December 21st, and we went with family to watch Star Wars (Chris is a movie super-freak, and often organizes HUGE groups of friends & family to local movie premiers) in San Bernardino, when, on that rainy night, and just minutes before we left the theater, our car, a Mitsubishi SUV, was broken into, and robbed. The thieves caused $370 of damage to the car (we DO have insurance, but this was not covered), and stole 7 items: A microphone safe case, containing 4 Audix microphones, and...his brand new Taylor guitar, in its brand new travel case. He was devastated, as you can imagine. Total cost of repair and loss: around $1700. All this right in the midst of the Advent & Christmas season was not a very nice surprise for us. The windows were tinted, and the equipment was pretty well-concealed in the trunk in the dark, in the rain, in a well-populated parking lot with security. But these things happen in life, often without explanation. All in all, we have accepted that those items are now gone, and will not be returned. Chris has remained relatively positive about it, only hoping that some good comes out of the situation ("Perhaps the culprits will use the items for good"). Chris is still continuing his ministry (he has a lesser-quality guitar that he is using in the meantime, and he plays other instruments as well), but has a big year of speaking & music ahead (he has an album in the works, which has been put on hold in the meantime), and is in need of a new quality instrument, but we are now without the funds to do that (he is still paying off the credit funds used to purchase the Taylor in the first place). Your contribution, if you find yourself able to give, will go towards: 1) Replacing the stolen Guitar with a new one of comparable quality. 2) Purchase of a quality travel case to protect a new guitar. 3) Paying off the debt incurred by the previous guitar purchase, and the vehicle repair. If you find yourself able to give, it is appreciated. If you find yourself unable to contribute, your PRAYERS are very very appreciated. Chris has brought much joy and healing to thousands of people in his ministry work over the years. We appreciate all support (Great or Small) and all contributors will be commemorated in thankfulness.
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