Thundergong! isn't just your typical night of music and laughs—it's a powerful event that combines unforgettable performances with a meaningful cause. This unique gathering is a joint effort between passionate individuals and Steps of Faith Foundation, an organization that strives to provide prosthetic limbs to uninsured and underinsured amputees, granting them the mobility they deserve and the possibilities they long for. Through music and laughter, Thundergong! brings people together for one night and makes a real difference in the lives of those in need for a lifetime.
Steps of Faith CEO Billy Brimblecom, Jr. lost his left leg to Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2005. Driven by his desire to keep drumming and maintain an active lifestyle, he rallied his friends and family to raise over $30,000, securing his first prosthetic limb. This experience solidified his empathy for the financial struggles amputees face, which made him dedicate his life to helping others regain mobility and lead fulfilling lives.
Brimblecom envisions a world where every amputee can access mobility, regardless of their financial means. Two million Americans live with limb loss—500 people in the U.S. lose a limb each day, and 185,000 individuals have an amputation each year. The financial burden that accompanies limb loss can be overwhelming—with prosthetic limbs costing anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, amputees without health insurance often face insurmountable challenges in securing the devices they require. Simple everyday tasks that most take for granted become nearly impossible feats without the right prosthetic fit and function. Unfortunately, many amputees lack health insurance, and the coverage provided by insurance companies is frequently inadequate to cover the exorbitant costs of prosthetic care. This is where Steps of Faith Foundation steps in to make a difference, providing limbs to amputees who can’t otherwise afford them.
“With the help of our Steps of Faith donors, we are able to remove the physical limitations that amputees face, empowering them to focus on overcoming new challenges,” says Brimblecom.
Brimblecom met his childhood friend, actor and Kansas City native Jason Sudeikis doing improv shows in high school and have remained good friends ever since. Wanting to raise funds to help those needing prosthetics in a fun way, the idea for Thundergong! was born.
“It’s a rock and roll variety show—it’s a lot of fun and a unique thing that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Thundergong! is a celebration of resilience, unity, and compassion. Approaching its seventh year, the event grows in both impact and reach. Brimblecom plays the drums in a local band called Summer Breeze with his wife, Allie, and they perform as the house band. The event features a star-studded lineup of performers and comedians—past performers included the Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, Will Forte, Fred Armisen and Wynonna Judd. With each performance, the audience is reminded of the power of music, laughter, and collective action. The event's success is a testament to the profound impact that individuals can make when they come together for a common purpose. Thanks to the immense generosity of supporters, the event has brought their six-year total to over $2.1 million.
“Thundergong! Is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s one night. We are in the business of helping amputees that can’t afford their prosthetics across the country. We’ve helped over 1,000 people in ten years, so donating is important year-round.”
Besides donating directly to Steps of Faith, you can also support their mission through The Signatry by giving appreciated stock, mutual funds, real estate, vehicles, and other non-cash donations—The Signatry helps to give more while paying less tax without tapping into personal cash flow.
This year's Thundergong! is set to take place on Saturday, November 11th at the Uptown Theatre. For more information, visit stepsoffaithfoundation.org and thundergong.org.
Article by Allison Swan
Originally published in Leawood City Lifestyle