News Flash

Town News and Updates

Posted on: June 9, 2021

Giving The Gift Of Music For Travis


Travis Swager loved making people laugh and music. After he died unexpectedly last year, his family created the "Make Noise! Music Fund" to help get instruments into the hands of local children. To give, visit online.


CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 712-2221 or




MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (JUNE 9, 2021)  Travis Swager was the kind of person who knew someone, no matter where he went.


Whether it was the grocery store or downtown Newport for a bite to eat, his mother Sarah and sister Beck Schlip said it was like riding with a celebrity.


So, when Travis passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of 46 in 2020, Schlip said her family agreed they wanted to find a way to share his love of music that touched so many others through his life.


Toward that end, Schlip has been working hard getting the “Make Noise! Music Fund” up and running. She said the goal is to provide financial aid for local youngsters interested in music, but who are unable to pay for lessons and instrument rentals. 


The Music Fund has a clothing drive all month to raise money for the cause. To schedule a pick-up of gently used clothing, email Additional details are available through the fund’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Donations are also accepted at through the online site GoFundMe.


“I know he’d be proud, honored really, but he probably wouldn’t show it,” Schlip said chuckling from an Adirondack chair in the family’s front yard by Middletown High. 


“He’d probably make some kind of sarcastic comment because he was always joking around, something like ‘Good job Peanut!’ or ‘Good job Pumpkin!’ That’s the thing we miss the most, his humor. He was so funny.”


A 1991 graduate from Middletown High, Schlip said Travis was a self-taught musician and loved playing guitar for anyone who’d listen. He was into Pearl Jam, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Tool, among others.


Schlip fondly remembers Travis walking around the house, strumming a few notes on his omnipresent guitar and then looking at her – or anyone else nearby – for the answer to the tidbit of the song he just played.


“He had this look on his face when he did it that just made you laugh,” Schlip said. “He just had that way with people and usually I didn’t guess the name of the song right.”


He also delved into the bass, banjo and drums, but guitar always took the lead. Schlip said her older brother inspired her to get involved with the bands and choruses at school, teaching herself flute, piccolo and trumpet.


Schlip said music helped both her and her brother through high school, finding new musicians who spoke to them with their words and songs. She graduated from Middletown High in 2000.


“They were always playing music around the house, loud, and it used to drive me crazy,” Sarah Swager said. “I’m not a big music person, but my kids sure were.”


Her brother worked at several local establishments from the restaurant at Howard Johnson’s to the Fourth Street Diner, One Pelham East and Franklin Spa, all in Newport.


No matter where he went, she said Travis was able to make friends and connect with those around him, whether they had anything in common or not. Music was usually the bond that brought everyone together.


“I saw the impact that music had on his life and know the same would be true for a lot of kids who just can’t afford it,” Schlip said. “That’s why we created the Make Noise! Music Fund, so that kids who want to play can and get something out of music like we did.”


To date, Schlip said everyone has been very supportive of the fund. And such assistance is more necessary than ever before coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“When you hear about school budgets, one of the first things that gets cut is music and the arts, even though those are the only reason some students go to school every day,” Schlip said. “We want this to be one way for everyone to remember Travis and what a positive spirit he was.”





Additional Info...
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Town News and Updates

Flag Day-2

Take Time Out Today To Mark Flag Day

Posted on: June 14, 2021
Middletown Police Department

Middletown Police Here To Help

Posted on: June 11, 2021
190930 BN-SafetyPoster1 (dragged)

If You Bike, Please Wear A Helmet

Posted on: June 10, 2021
Be Ready For A Hurricane-2 2

Get Ready With A "Go Bag"

Posted on: June 8, 2021
Help Make COVID-19 History!-2

Don't Wait! Vaccinate!

Posted on: June 7, 2021
Stay Safe Vaccinate-2

Stay Safe - Vaccinate

Posted on: June 4, 2021

The Power Of Percussion

Posted on: June 1, 2021

Getting Ready For Summer

Posted on: May 28, 2021

An Hour At Middletown High

Posted on: May 28, 2021

"Where Am I?" Winner

Posted on: May 27, 2021
Boat Ramp-3

Third Beach Boat Ramp Reopened

Posted on: May 26, 2021

Surfcasting At Sachuest

Posted on: May 26, 2021

Don't Be Too Late! Vaccinate!

Posted on: May 25, 2021

Summer Is On The Way

Posted on: May 25, 2021

Where Am I?

Posted on: May 25, 2021

Shorebirds At Sachuest

Posted on: May 24, 2021
Third Beach Boat Ramp-2

Third Beach Boat Ramp Repairs

Posted on: May 19, 2021

Harbormaster Wanted

Posted on: May 18, 2021
Its not too late

It's Not Too Late

Posted on: May 17, 2021

Preserving Paradise

Posted on: May 17, 2021
Senior Center Reopening-2

Middletown Senior Center Reopens

Posted on: May 17, 2021

Volunteers Needed

Posted on: May 13, 2021

Walk Safely

Posted on: May 12, 2021


Posted on: May 11, 2021
Service Suspended

Simple Recycling Service Suspended

Posted on: May 11, 2021
COVID 5721-4

Remember To Vaccinate

Posted on: May 7, 2021
Budget Videos-2

More Budget Videos Live

Posted on: May 6, 2021
Thanks To Our Community Partners-2

Thanks To Our Community Partners

Posted on: May 5, 2021

Middletown Meeting Matters

Posted on: May 3, 2021

Cleaning Catch Basins

Posted on: April 29, 2021

Enjoying Dunlap-Wheeler Park

Posted on: April 29, 2021
Outdoor Burn Ban-2

Outdoor Burn Ban Starts Saturday

Posted on: April 28, 2021

Senior Center Makes A Difference

Posted on: April 27, 2021

Get Vaccinated!

Posted on: April 27, 2021
Quotable Middletown-7

COVID-19 Is Still Here. Stay Vigilant

Posted on: April 26, 2021

Dogs In Middletown Webpage Now Live

Posted on: April 22, 2021
Indian Avenue work-3

Indian Avenue Road Work Next Week

Posted on: April 16, 2021
Town Council Meeting-3

Town Council Meets Monday, April 19

Posted on: April 16, 2021
Job Posting-4

Public Works Is Hiring

Posted on: April 15, 2021

Give A Hoot! Don't Pollute!

Posted on: April 15, 2021
Powers out-2

Power Is Out At The Library

Posted on: April 8, 2021
Distracted Driving-3

Put The Phone Down While Driving

Posted on: April 8, 2021
Yellow Bags-2

Pay-As-You-Throw Reminder

Posted on: April 7, 2021
Job Posting-3

Middletown Is Hiring

Posted on: April 6, 2021

Middletown Meeting Matters

Posted on: April 5, 2021

Council Sets Process To Fill Vacancy

Posted on: April 5, 2021
Butts are trash too-2

Keep It Clean, Middletown

Posted on: April 6, 2021
Yard waste-4

Yard Waste collection update

Posted on: April 5, 2021

Town Hall Update

Posted on: April 2, 2021

Revaluations Up In Middletown

Posted on: April 1, 2021

Stay vigilant and get vaccinated

Posted on: April 1, 2021
Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 9.52.10 AM

Welcome to the New

Posted on: March 26, 2021

Middletown Helps Live!

Posted on: April 13, 2021
Windmill in Field

Create an Account

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Stay connected!

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Keep in Touch

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Website Personalization Now Available!

Posted on: November 22, 2016