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Palm Coast Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 4 days ago

Gold Star Mentors organization helps children cope with death of service member loved ones

At the last Songwriters Festival, the foundation donated a guitar to 8-year-old Cason Treber.
by: Abbie Pace Contributing Writer

The Palm Coast Songwriters Festival is about fun, food and music, but it’s also about helping others. 

Cason Treber and Garry Lubi. Courtesy photo

At this past Songwriters Festival in May, a guitar was donated to a young boy, Cason Treber. The guitar came from Gold Star Mentors, a foundation that provides guitars and music lessons to young people grieving the death of a loved one who was a service member.

Speaking on the Flagler Broadcasting show "Veterans On Point" on June 7, Cason was enthusiastic when asked if he'd like to learn to play. Treber will receive one-on-one lessons at the upcoming festival in May 2023. 

Country singer Brett Jones created the Gold Star Mentors foundation in 2017. Jones or other foundation members also give lessons to beginner guitar recipients.

“Children are more affected than the ones who actually died in combat,” Jones said. At age 10, Jones lost his brother in Vietnam. His brother, James Jones, had just been awarded the distinguished flying cross two months earlier, Jones said. 

Jones’ brother’s son had trouble dealing with the death, and died by suicide as a young adult. Jones’ nephew’s and brother’s deaths drove him to create the foundation. 

“I'm from a gold star family, so I see the sacrifices gold star families make. And there's not really a great support system for it other than charities like mine,” said Jones. 

Jones became a part of the Songwriters Festival in 2018, its first year, and the Songwriters Festival wanted to help. 

“As a child, Brett got a guitar, and it became a coping mechanism for him to help deal with his brother's passing,” said Garry Lubi, co-founder of Palm Coast Songwriters Festival. 

The Palm Coast 2023 Songwriters Festival will take place May 4-7.

Tickets can be purchased on their website at

To learn more about the Gold Star Mentors, go to:


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