Our founder Anthony Kleppe, aka Anthony Wild, has built a life on music since he was 4 years old. Originally from Wisconsin, he began to sing and record throughout his teenage years once his family moved to Florida. After settling into Daytona Beach in 1994, he began to perform locally in clubs, festivals, and concerts finding new inspiration to pursue his dream of becoming a blues singer.
All this changed when Anthony was diagnosed with cancer. After surviving a long battle with cancer, Anthony had an epiphany: he wanted to use second chance by giving back to the community. Anthony decided to devote devote himself to helping kids find their self-esteem, purpose, and passion through music.
This is when Kids Rock the Nation was born. Anthony founded Kids Rock the Nation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014 to share his passion for music with children in need. Initially, the primary service area was focused on Central Florida—but the scope has grown to bring instruments to schools and programs all across the country. But music is only the beginning of his mission—since the true outcome of the program is not starting musical careers but inspiring changed lives. After seeing the smile on the first student’s face, Anthony knows he made the right choice.
Through Kids Rock the Nation, Anthony strives to give schools and children in need the resources they need to pursue a passion for music—wherever that path leads. The single criteria for choosing candidates is a student’s desire to learn. Guided by this philosophy, Anthony has led Kids Rock the Nation to donate over 1,500 instruments to schools and individuals alike providing them with guitars, drums, keyboards, violins, and many other instruments.