Local bands raise $31,000 for American Heart Association in memory of band member’s son

(RICHMOND, VA), (April 15, 2024) – Six local bands joined forces on Saturday, March 23 for the first annual Avery Walls Music Festival at The Park RVA. The festival’s purpose was to honor Avery Walls who, at age 20, passed away from complications brought on by a congenital heart defect.

Money raised through generous donations from the community brought the total raised to $31,000 for the American Heart Association in Central Virginia. The proceeds from the festival will be dedicated to advancing the American Heart Association’s mission of fighting heart disease and stroke in Central Virginia.

The Walls family speaking at The Park RVA during the first annual Avery Walls Music Festival

“We are so humbled to be the recipients of donations made to honor Avery’s life,” said Michelle Nostheide, Executive Director for the American Heart Association in Central Virginia. “We look forward to using these donations across Greater Richmond and in collaboration with organizations in the Walls’ hometown of Powhatan.”

Avery’s father, Shannon Walls, is a member of local band, Side Piece. In a remarkable show of solidarity and community, five bands joined Side Piece on stage to help raise money including Diving Face, Bombshell, Audio Vault, The Jangling Reinharts and Sweet Justice. The event was sponsored by Small Venue Music.

“We are deeply moved by the incredible support shown by everyone who joined us at The Park RVA for this meaningful event,” expressed Shannon. “It meant so much to our family to see the local music community come together to honor Avery’s life in such a big way.”

Avery was born with Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome which caused his heart to beat at extremely high rates. At the age of 3, he had a successful ablation surgery to correct his defect. On September 7, 2023, at the age of 20, Avery experienced a heart attack that ended his life too soon.

Heart disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide, underscoring the importance of the American Heart Association’s work in the community to improve and lengthen lives. The overwhelming success of this fundraiser highlights Richmond’s dedication to making a positive impact on heart health and supporting those affected by cardiovascular conditions.

For more information about the American Heart Association’s work in Virginia, visit heart.org/Virginia.


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 – our Centennial year – we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact, our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:
Audry Dubon: audry.dubon@heart.org
heart.org and stroke.org