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Monday, August 31, 2015

Longtime Highlands Teacher Needs Your Help

By Chuck Keller
Belinda and Gary Adams
Some teachers are simply unforgettable.  Gary Adams is one of them. Gary has taught music for 45 years. Yes, you read that right - 45 years. And he needs our help.

He has suffered a few setbacks lately. He had heart surgery earlier in the year but his lovely and exuberant wife, Belinda, has not fared as well. She has been battling cancer for a few years now and things have taken a turn.  The cancer has spread to her brain.

Gary describes Belinda as an “amazing teacher, wanting to give back to the kids in Newport where she grew up. She taught 22 years.  The [7] tumors in the brain are a result of breast cancer that metastasized to her liver, hip, spine and neck. She has undergone 2 rounds of chemo and two series of radiation therapy. In addition she have Gamma Knife surgery to fight the tumors in her brain.” 

As you can imagine, the costs are enormous and insurance and a teacher’s salary goes only so far. Former student, Joey Catilla Bacon has started a GoFundMe account to help ease that burden.  To Joey, Gary Adams is no ordinary teacher.  She recalls her time as a student. “I was a super small kiddo, and I remember wanting to be in the band in fifth grade. When I wanted to join band, I picked up the clarinet, and my hands were so small that I couldn't reach all of the keys. I had no idea how important he would become in my life. I grew up to love music, but I also grew up wanting to help others, and Gary modeled for me how important an educator can be in your life.” 

In fact, she went on to become a music teacher. Gary became her mentor and colleague and friend.  She says, “Gary is a role model for me” as well as for thousands of others.  And now she would like to call upon the those to show their appreciation by donating to the Team Belinda fund at

Joey said it best. “It is truly an honor to be able to give back to him and Belinda- they deserve the best.”


  1. God Bless them. I will be praying for Gary and Belinda. May God eased their burdens and heal their bodies. amen..

  2. No One Fights Cancer Alone ~Team B~ Benefit
    on September 26, 2015
    from 5-10pm
    at the Wilder City Building.