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Local vocal duo pays it forward
Age Before Beauty entertains farmers market guests, donates tips
Age Before Beauty 1
Age Before Beauty donates all of their tips to charities. At the Turlock Farmers Market, Allison Van Guilder and Bob Crawford were raising money to answer City Councilman Forrest Whites challenge to help fund the building of a new homeless shelter in Turlock. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

Some bands play for the love of music, others play in hopes of becoming famous. Then there’s Age Before Beauty, a two-person band that donates all of their tips that they earn during performances to charity.

With business cards that say, “good deeds…one song at a time,” the duo is a collaborative effort between City of Turlock Director of Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Allison Van Guilder and retired newspaper editor Bob Crawford.

For the past few months, the duo  has been contributing tips they made while performing at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market to answer City Councilman Forrest White’s challenge to help fund the city's first permanent homeless shelter. Last year, White asked Turlock residents to match his donation of $500 to help Turlock Gospel Mission reach its $50,000 goal for the facility. 

On Friday, the duo successfully answered White’s challenge with the tips they received for their performances.

“I hope we inspire others to take whatever their God-given talents are and use it to help others,” said Van Guilder.

With Crawford in charge of equipment and Van Guilder in charge of finances, the duo works perfectly together. Distinguishing themselves from a typical band, the vocal group covers a broad range of music from rock, soul, and blues genres over the span of seven decades.

 “We just sing whatever appeals to us, it is kind of a free form thing,” said Crawford. “Right now we’re working on some Motown songs. We’re adding songs all the time.”

The duo collaborated together earlier this year when Van Guilder reached out to Crawford with the idea of paying it forward. The two musicians share a special bond since both of them have overcome serious health issues in the past.

Years ago, Crawford was diagnosed with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis, which is the sudden inflammation of the pancreas. Without warning and reason, his pancreas exploded and doctors gave him a survival rate of 5 percent.

Now, approximately 30 years later, Crawford still thinks about his time in the hospital every single day and considers himself blessed.

Van Guilder is a cancer survivor. Two years ago she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and had to go through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

This past Thursday, she celebrated the two year anniversary of her recovery.

“Going through what I did, it caused me to prioritize things and use my gift to give back to others,” said Van Guilder.

Since then, the duo has sung at cancer benefits including Relay for Life events, the Stanislaus County Fair, and, of course, the Turlock Farmers Market. Crawford looks forward to expanding the band's performances and hopes to play at even more venues.

 “It feels really good to have a partnership for a greater good,” said Crawford. “The more we are able to pay it forward, the better.”

Age Before Beauty’s next scheduled performance at the Turlock Farmers Market is Oct. 10. To contact the band about a possible event or performance, call Bob Crawford at 402-7997 or Allison Van Guilder at 202-7714.