Legally blind sophomore plays for charity concert

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Music business sophomore Tone Guerrero will be participating in the  Fight for Sight concert.,   Photo by Aly Miranda

Music business sophomore Tone Guerrero will be participating in the Fight for Sight concert., Photo by Aly Miranda

By Aly Miranda

 Courtesy

Courtesy

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Music business sophomore Tone Guerrero will perform as a one-man band in the Fight for Sight concert Sept. 24 to raise money for the Fighting Blindness Foundation.

The concert will be at 8 p.m. at Steely’s Nevada’s Bar and Lounge at 7530 Bandera Road.

Guerrero, who is legally blind, will perform on his bass guitar and sing covers from The Cure, The Ramones, George Strait, Social Distortion, the Pixies and Motörhead.

“I’m going to be performing, playing bass guitar and singing, and I’ll have music to the songs playing as well and if anyone knows the song, they can come up and sing along,” he said Sept. 13.

Guerrero is legally blind because of a hereditary eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa (RP), also known as tunnel vision.

He was diagnosed at 17, but he has suffered symptoms since he was a child.

“When I was younger, I didn’t know I had that (retinitis pigmentosa), and I spent a lot of time running around in the sun, and I was actually damaging my eyesight,” Guerrero said. “People with RP, when they’re out in the sun, the UV-rays damage what’s in the back of their retina, called the rods and cones. Just being outdoors is like looking straight into the sun, for people with RP.”

“The common thing with RP is that you think you’re clumsy, but it’s just the fact you have blind spots,” Guerrero said.

Through social networking with other visually impaired and blind people, Guerrero became involved with Fighting Blindness a few years ago.

He performed his first concert for the foundation last year.

“Years ago, I met a friend of mine who mutually knew another friend, and it was kind of someone who knew someone who knew someone for me to come into Fight for Sight,” Guerrero said.

Todd Dunn, co-president of the San Antonio-Austin chapter of Fighting Blindness, and his wife named the benefit concert. It has been an annual event for the past five years.

Fight for Sight has a $5 donation at the door. There will also be a silent auction hosted by Dunn’s sister.

“One hundred percent of the money, the silent auction and door money we collect goes to the foundation, and my friend who owns the bar donates 10 percent of the bar sales to the foundation,” Dunn said.

Dunn said last year, the concert made about $2,000 and the year before was $1,800.

“It just really depends on the crowd,” Dunn said.

For more information on Fighting Blindness, go to sanantonio@blindness.org.

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