On Saturday July 23rd, Dave’s Guitar Shop in La Crosse celebrated 40 years in business! Special guests Paul Reed Smith, Matt Hallum and Jim Cullen from Paul Reed Smith guitars; Paul Van Name from Fender; and Rich Casciato from Taylor Guitars joined us a for a jam-packed day of talking shop, making trades, and having fun.
Left to Right: Paul Reed Smith, Jim Cullen, Dave Rogers, Tylor Fischer and Matt Hallum
It was quite the event! In the garage, we held our first ever Arts and Crafts show with 9 talented makers – two painters, four jewelers, a potter, a tie-dye artist, a light maker and a bread baker. Edna and friends passed out hundreds of cookies and snacks and divvied up a special ‘40’ logo cake that was a gift from a customer. Shop dogs Gordo and Turtle were out amongst the crowd, happily alternating between receiving lots of attention and chasing each other like little black-and-white tornados. And at 3:00, we were visited by a very real tornado blowing past outside!
'40' logo cake
The big highlight of the event was a three-guitar giveaway. Customers received one entry to the raffle per non-perishable food item or $5 donated, with all the food and cash donations to benefit the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse. By the time of the drawing – also just after 3:00 while the storm raged outside – we received 1077 individual entries. The cash donations came out to $3195, and several hundred food items (at the time of this article, we’re still too tired from the party to count!).
Look at all these donations that will go to the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse!
The winners were randomly selected and announced by General Manager, Tylor Fischer.
The 3rd place price was a PRS SE Tonare P20 and was won by Adam Bowen of Madison, WI (not present at the time of drawing).
The 2nd place prize was a Taylor GS Mini and the winner of that was Chris Hilliard (present and pictured below).
The 1st place prize was a Fender American Professional II Stratocaster and Ashley Selnes was the lucky winner! Ashley came in earlier in the day with 80 non-perishable food items and was looking for her first electric guitar and hoping for a Fender Stratocaster! We couldn’t have written a better fairy tale! She was also present at the time of the drawing and is pictured below with Dave Rogers.
Dave and 2nd place (Chris) and 1st place (Ashley) winners with their new guitars!
Thank you to all our customers near and far for making this business what it is today! What started with only Dave and a handful of guitars back in July of 1982 has become a world-famous destination boasting one of the greatest private collections of guitars and amplifiers in the world. Dave’s Guitar Shop now encompasses 4 branches (La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Marshfield) and Dave’s Drum Depot and employs 36 people. That is quite the accomplishment!
Candid shot of Paul Smith chatting with a customer.