Sarasota Piano Man Donald Gould Looking For His Son Who Would Be 18 Years Old in Spring Arbor MI

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

His name is Donald Wade Gould, he is 51 years old, he is from Spring Arbor Michigan 49283 and he has been looking for his son for 15 years, the son would be 18 years old today. Are you a white male, 18 years of age, with a DOB 8/24/1996 and you had lived in the Spring Arbor MI area with your foster parents or adopted parents, you could be Donald Gould’s long lost son and he wants to reconnect with you in Sarasota Fl.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A song and a viral video has given a homeless man a chance to reconnect with the son he was separated from 15 years ago. Video of the Donald Gould, a homeless former U.S. Marine, playing a beautiful rendition of “Come Sail Away” by Styx on an outdoor piano in Sarasota, Florida went viral, with millions of people seeing it in the last week. But only one person mattered to the man playing: His son. “I’ve always loved him from the day he was born. I’m never going to stop loving him,” Gould told WOOD TV8’s sister station WLFA. Gould, 51, lost custody of his son Donny when he was only 3 years old and hasn’t seen him since. Gould was struggling with drug abuse at the time. Donny’s mother died in 1998 due to a morphine overdose, Gould said. 24 Hour News 8 found Donald’s son living in West Michigan near South Haven. After Donny was removed from his father’s custody, he was adopted by my grandmother. After she had trouble raising him, he was adopted by another couple named Darryl and Terri, who 24 Hour News 8 is identifying by first name only. “We prayed about it and it was like we felt that God led us to do this,” Donny’s dad Darryl told 24 Hour News 8 on Tuesday.

SPRING ARBOR, MI – Spring Arbor University is offering homeless man Donald Gould a full-ride scholarship to help him finish his degree. Donald Gould, 51, a former Marine, spent three years at SAU before hard times hit and he dropped out, and now the university wants to help him in his effort to get back on track. “We want to do the right thing for him,” said Malachi Crane, SAU’s vice president for enrollment and marketing. “He’s obviously had a lot of trials in his life. Sometimes you just need a break. Gould, who’s known as “Boone” in Sarasota, started at SAU in 1990 and left in 1993, Crane said. Reports said his life spiraled downhill after his wife died and he turned to substance abuse. He was studying music education at the time he left the university, Crane said. “If he still has a passion for music education, we want to do everything we can to help him,” Crane said. “It’s who we are as an institution that believes strongly in the faith-based education we offer. It’s the right thing to do for anybody, but especially someone in Mr. Gould’s situation.” SAU is looking at the credits Gould achieved while there to decide what it will take for him to complete a degree and determine how best he can do so, Crane said. At this time, there is no dollar figure associated with the scholarship, he said. “Whatever it takes, we are fully committed to this,” Crane said. Since his story has gone viral, reports have said Gould has received possible job offers playing in Sarasota establishments. A GoFundMe account established on Gould’s behalf has raised more than $30,000 to date.

Donald Gould says he began playing clarinet when he was just a kid, which led him to play the instrument in the U.S. Marine Corps. When he got out of the service, Donald explained that he wanted to teach music, so he studied music education at Spring Arbor University in Michigan where he was originally from. See Original video:
“I took music theory and ear training, and I had to learn how to play every instrument from the piccolo down to the tuba,” Gould told WWSB. “I can write parts like a handbook.” Unfortunately, he ran out of money just three credits shy of graduating and instead worked odd jobs while starting a family. But that was just the beginning of a downward spiral. In 1998, Gould’s wife died unexpectedly.
“They sat me down, and they told me what had happened, that my wife had passed away, and I just lost it man,” he recalled. That’s when he hit rock bottom. Gould started struggling with substance abuse which caused Social Services to take his son, who was only 3-years-old at the time. He eventually made his way to Florida where he still tries to keep in touch with his musical roots, entertaining passerby with his talented tunes playing anything from Billy Joel to Bach.
The former Marine learned to play clarinet as a child and had aspirations of teaching music. He was forced to drop out of music school when he ran out of money just three semesters before graduation. Gould then took various jobs and started a family before his wife died in 1998. In the aftermath, he developed a drug problem and lost his son to social services, a memory that still haunts him. “Every day, it’s painful. There’s not a day that’s gone by since they took him from me that I haven’t thought about him.” His son turned 18 last year, he said. Donald Gould said he hopes his son sees him in the video and reconnects with him.

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