Elks concert, barbecue raises thousands for homeless vets
Incomparable caring, unmatched giving!
Those two traits came in many forms, from music makers to classic chefs, for some seven hours Saturday for an event where a Warwick band named Mother Bogart reached out to the community to support homeless veterans.
“What a fantastic day – and night,” said Angelo Manni, a musician-publicist for the talented six-member Mother Bogart band. “We asked the community to help support a great cause and they came through big time.”
So much so, in fact, Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon was ecstatic when he walked into Rossi Park late Saturday afternoon and told an appreciative audience, “This is such a great cause; it makes me even prouder to be an Elk. I can see this getting bigger and better next year.”
With the Tri-City Elks Lodge providing the turf – Rossi Park that’s dedicated to all veterans of all the armed forces – and bands Mother Bogart, Joint Custody and Sundance playing nearly non-stop music, accompanied by the super scent of freshly cooked barbecue pork and ribs creating awesome appetites, Saturday’s fundraiser took in $5,500 that will help homeless veterans with clothing, food and hygiene products.
“The total would have been greater,” Manni said, “but we had a 50/50 raffle with the winner going home with nearly 400 bucks.”
The weather, people concurred, was great. The music was equally super and the food “delicious” as people who sat at round tables Lodge 14 placed in-and-around Rossi Park as yet another example of Tri-City’s ongoing hospitality. The day’s food was prepared and served especially for the fund-raiser by Rob DeReamer’s Black Dog Barbecue.
“Saturday was a huge success,” said DeReamer, who even had an assistance of sorts when Solomon offered his expertise to cook some sausage. “It all just kind of aligned … the weather was great, the turnout was great and the music was great. I’m glad we were able to be a part of such an awesome event.”
DeReamer, whose staff volunteered their services as did each and every member of the three bands, added, “We ran out of food twice; I had to go to the market for more supplies.”
The classic BBQ chef, whose Black Dog Barbeque participates in competitions throughout the state while also caters special events, was so elated with the day’s result he wanted it known: “I was able to make a donation to the (H-PACT) fund and will also be cutting a check to the Tri-City Elks for their ongoing support and love they have for our veterans.”
Manni issued a statement on behalf of all three bands saying, “ We’d like to offer a special thank you to Lori Eaton from the Elks as well as the bar-tending staff, Black Dog BBQ’s crew and Thomas Cappelli of Digital Light Graphic Designs who created all the advertisements and flyers to get the word out on social media.”
Although no date has been set, Manni – as well as other band and event committee members – are looking forward to when Eaton takes the event’s windfall to Trailer 37 at the RI Veterans Hospital in Providence that will help stock the facility with food, clothing and hygiene products for homeless veterans.