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Oxford band Busty Petites plays suicide prevention show

Oxford band Busty Petites decided to take action this week after losing two friends to suicide within the past five months.

The band has been in the area for two years and is made up of members Jack Houk, Lake Wilkinson, Gus Barnett and Hall Hastings, all students at Ole Miss and members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Following the deaths of friends and fraternity brothers Truett Primos and Davis Cook, the band members decided to hold a concert, with all the proceeds going to the the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“In the last five months, we have lost two very close friends to suicide including the latest instance on Sunday, Feb. 4,” Hastings said. “After this happened, we thought the only appropriate way to bring our friends together and honor our friends that we have lost was to raise money in their names to donate to a charity to prevent these types of situations.”

Proud Larry’s agreed to host the show, and donated their portion of the ticket sales to AFSP. Overall, Hastings says they had a packed house and raised over $1200 in ticket sales alone, with additional funds raised by Cook’s family.

In spite of the tragedy, Lake Wilkinson says one good thing that has come of the situation is the support people have shown for one another.

“We have all realized how much the bonds we have formed with each other mean to us,” Wilkinson said. “Instead of feeling helpless, our friends have felt inspired to do something. I think that this inspiration and camaraderie in our community is the only reason we were able to raise so much money and awareness for this.”

Hastings says the band’s ability to use their musical gifts to raise awareness and honor their friends is a tool for good.

“We are able to use playing music, something we love to do, as a tool to bring all of our friends together and also potentially make a difference in people’s lives who are struggling with issues like depression,” he said. “Right when we realized this was a possibility, all four members immediately wanted to donate the ticket sales.”

He also added that the band owed part of their success to Primos, who introduced them to his first cousin.

“We actually met Gus, our younger member, through Truett because Gus is his first cousin, so if it weren’t for Truett we probably wouldn’t even be in a band together,” he said. “Our friendship with those guys really had an impact that all of us will always remember.”

For those coping with the loss of Cook, Primos or another loved one, Houk says it is important not to play the blame game.

“To someone coping, there’s nothing that you could have done or way of knowing what was going to happen,” he said. “You can’t feel responsible because no one can predict these tragedies.”

When it comes to remembering their friends, the band members all say Primos and Cook were genuine young men who loved their friends and family.

“I want them both to be remembered for their constant generosity, their big hugs and their huge hearts. They found ways to connect with everyone through many things like music,” Hastings said. “They were great friends, and genuine, whole-hearted people who made tragic mistakes.”

To make a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, visit afsp.org.