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Family Band

Four Young Siblings Use Their Talents for Charity

Article by Julie Meyer

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Three years ago, Boise Lifestyle introduced readers to The Runaway Hamsters, a group of sibling musicians who raise money for children’s charities by sharing their talents. Since we last checked in with the band in 2015, they have had amazing success in achieving their goals and have raised thousands for the charities they support, such as Camp Rainbow Gold, Camp HODIA, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Humane Society and the Idaho Humane Society’s Pet Food Pantry. They were also personally invited to be Jr. Ambassadors for the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Abby and Riley are patients there, and The Runaway Hamsters have shared their passion for helping others over the many visits and years they have gone there as patients. 

With more than 1 million views on YouTube and a whirlwind tour across the country, the band has garnered national attention. They have traveled from Nashville to LA, opened for Andy Grammer, been nominated twice for a Grammy in the children’s category, taken part in the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas, played the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville, and taken part in CMA festival in Nashville this summer. 

2018 is an exciting summer for TRH. In June they released “Go!,” a new single produced by Grammy-nominated Kent Wells who also produces the legendary Dolly Parton, and they are releasing a new album later this summer. A highlight of the summer is their Nashville tour and performances at the CMAs, including an interview and performance at Seacrest Studios where they premiered their new single. They also took part in an interview and acoustic performance live on WSM-AM radio (home of the Grand Ole Opry), a performance in downtown Nashville and wrapped up the festival with their Fan Appreciation Party at one of the iconic venues in Nashville. The group agrees that the best part of being a young musician is traveling with the family, meeting new people and helping others all at the same time. 

How did these talented kids get to be so amazing?

“We all started with the piano at age 3 with Lesa Breding, the best teacher ever!" Gabby says. "Then we did Boise Rock School. We have always had an interest in music and decided to start a band. We then used our talents as a band to write and record a song and sell the CD to help raise money for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital which was treating one of our friends who had cancer. Things really took off from there.”  

The community has really rallied around these kids in support of their cause. 

“People are supportive of the pure in heart,” says momma hamster Barb Keen.

THR has this advice for young musicians or anyone who wants to make a difference: 

Help people who need help.” –Isabella 

 “Always keep trying to do good.” –Riley

“Make people happy, always try to smile and wave.” –Abby 

“Never give up, even if it is difficult, still try and be kind.” –Gabby

For more information, visit

TRH Fun Facts

Isabella, 14

Plays: Drums, ukulele, piano

Enjoys: Animals, especially their family dogs

Gabby, 12

Plays: Bass, guitar, ukulele, banjo, piano

Enjoys: Sports, biking, swimming, rollerblading and ice skating

Abby, 12

Plays: Piano, ukulele

Enjoys: drawing, nature, photography and basketball

Riley, 12

Plays: Electric and acoustic guitar

Enjoys: Legos, and sports including basketball, football and hockey

Family Pets: Macy the English springer spaniel, Ivy the wire fox terrier, Bucky the Siamese cat, Gus the hamster, Num-Num the hamster and Rosie the rabbit