the short answer from here is that the people who came together to rock for food collected 219 pounds of donated non-perishable items, (the equivalent of roughly 168 meals), and $859 with which to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the new entry sustainable farming project, to be distributed by the merrimack valley food bank. (you know it's been a good party when EVERYBODY leaves with a smile on their face).
i know i'm going to miss a lot of folks who deserve to be here on this list, but let me take a sleepy-eyed moment to name some of the folks who truly made this happen:
first of all, to matthew himmel and kimberley fitch at the new entry sustainable farming project, and amy pescia and bob sevigny at the merrimack valley food bank: you guys are the greatest. having an idea of doing something good for the community, for sustainable agriculture, for feeding those among us who need the help--that's one thing. having the energy and dedication to do it every day of the week and every week of the year is the job that deserves the real credit. i know there are TONS of other people in both organizations who deserve the same recognition, so please pass this sincere "thank you" along, but i've just started with the few i know. THANK YOU!!!
second of all, when the bare skeleton bones of an idea occurs to an aging middle-aged music junkie, all the best intentions in the world aren't going to get anybody anywhere unless and until someone else steps forward to offer the means to the end. to kevin, brian, eric and sean at brian's ivy hall, and to all the staff and family and friends there who chipped in cleaning and setting up and carrying it off and taking it down and cleaning it up all over again: this could not have happened without you. the dedication to the community is remarkable, and the word is worth spreading. (not sure where the downtown neighborhood association is planning their next meeting, but give kevin a call, because you're welcome there too!) from the invitation to enjoy the use of the hall FOR FREE, to the openness and eagerness to work together on lowell-themed drink specialties, to the generous sharing of cross-promotion with WKLB radio among many other things, THANK YOU!!!
third of all, (yup, this is going to be a long list), a related shout out to fastlane productions for the great party sounds. to mark and his crew, who had the sound wired especially for the room, and with such professionalism and effeciency, THANK YOU!!! no musician can rock a room like that without someone running the wires, twisting the knobs, and getting it all just right. THANK YOU!!!
fourth of all, i'm going to guess that 99% of the people who came through the door on sunday heard about the event, or saw notice of the event, or got motivated to follow through to attend the event from one of the many pieces of promotional material that was developed especially for the event. jay moore, aka the haunted hillbilly, was the graphic artist and designer, complete with web design and development and deployment, behind it all. event logo? jay. web site? jay. printed flyers? jay. t-shirt design? jay. 1000 last-minute changes every time a new sponsor or supporter or participant got added? jay. you need ANYTHING promotional, from graphics to web to whatever you can imagine? jay. (http://www.hauntedhillbilly.com). THANK YOU!!!
fifth of all, every good live event needs a master master of ceremonies, and will rock for food's good fortune was to have WCAP's own wireless-mike flynn at the head of the stage. mike first got involved promoting the show on his morning radio program on WCAP. he had peter lavender in (the musicians get theirs at the end, so don't worry, there's more) to perform a couple of his new songs (never before heard on the air--the world performance debut!), and kept the word going all around town all the way up to the event. and then, because plenty just isn't enough for some people, mike devoted almost an entire sunday of his personal time to be there at the show, to introduce the bands and the food organizations and manage the creative chaos that were the raffle drawings and auction bidding. THANK YOU MIKE!!!
sixth of all, now i have to start summarizing: life alive, brew'd awakenings, dharma buns, goodyear tire, athenian corner, monkey's ice cream, wklb, sam adams, (i know i'm forgetting people!), whitsett guitar works, and ALL the businesses that came together to donate things for the raffles and auctions--THANK YOU!!!
seventh of all, WUML, WCAP and WKLB for promoting the event on the airwaves. thanks especially to joe graham and wireless-mike flynn for realizing a great opportunity to put peter lavender and his new stuff live on the air, and doing it! (and thanks to tracey for sharing her show with joe for the afternoon to do it!) THANK YOU!!!
eighth of all, to bethann (you know who you are) for the brilliance to call it "will rock for food" in the first place, and the drink recipes, and the tireless work at the show to keep the raffles and auctions organized, and to pattie and maura and jen for looking so HOT in those will rock for food t-shirts and doing all the legwork on the donation collections and raffle ticket sales and everything else that goes into a success like this, THANK YOU!!!
ninth of all, to the bands. this is what got the whole thing started. how else are you going to get 16 of the most talented people you can name to clear their schedules on the same afternoon to plug in and rock out? i don't know, but appealing to their spirit of generosity took about all of about 30 seconds before the whole thing was booked and committed. melvern taylor and his fabulous meltones, bob nash, dave livingston and matt berlin, AND the incredible and incredibly talented sarah grant on that ethereal trumpet from the back of the room like we were all in musical church, THANK YOU! peter lavender and his band, arte k, carl johnson and bob nash, THANK YOU! jen kearney and the lost onion, carl johnson, claire finley, pete maclean and mark money shot mullins, THANK YOU! treat her right, dave champagne, jim fitting, billy beard and steve mayone, THANK YOU!
tenth of all, to the authors and publishers behind the scenes at the loom press and the bootstrap press, including derek fenner and steve o'connor who brought it all to us there at the event, THANK YOU!!!
eleventh of all, to linda mccluskey who was there in spirit with her prints, but especially to miss emily schroer whose fabulous collage art of the very soul of lowell made the merchandise area of the event the magical experience it was, THANK YOU!!! (and a little whisper-out to sarah grant and her cappies--those are GREAT, THANK YOU TOO!)
twelfth of all, to everybody i'm forgetting here, i'm both so so so sorry for the oversight and omission, and quadruply grateful that none of this has ever been about recognition--just coming together to rock for food and give back to the community. THANK YOU!!!
and lucky thirteenth of all to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, THANK YOU, too. you tell me anyone you know who had a better one, and i'll tell you you're a liar.
THANK YOU ALL, and let's do it again NEXT YEAR!
lowell will, indeed, always rock for food!
Labels: will rock for food