November 29, 2009
A movable feast: Music lovers feed the hungry
Saturday night was a movable feast -- for Racine's music lovers and our poor and hungry.
It was Thoughts for Food night, the smaller Fall version of our annual music extravaganza. Some 15 bands were scheduled to play (only one failed to show up) at five different venues and the price of admission was a mere $10 and two non-perishable food items for the Racine County Food Bank. Over its 16-year history, Thoughts for Food has raised some $300,000 and 70,000 pounds of food for the county's food pantries. Unfortunately, overall donations are down 15% this year ... as the number of individuals served -- 59,620 -- is up 4%.
The bands all performed for free, with two of them coming all the way from Madison. And from what we heard, sampling here and there at all five stages, there was something for everyone: folk-rock, hard rock, heavy metal, even jazz from a jam session with constantly rotating musicians in the lower level of Hiawatha's.
It was hard to pick a favorite, although it was clear that JJ McAuliffe did, holding up a handwritten mash note to Sunspot's drummer, Wendy Lynn Staats: "You're beautiful when you're drumming." JJ knows whereof he speaks, as you can see for yourself below. She sounded pretty darn good, too.
Preliminary totals showed some $700 raised after expenses, along with 800 pounds of food, from 330 in attendance. (Updated totals in the comments.) Organizers had hoped for greater turnout, unsure what the holiday weekend might bring. Still, as Dan Taivalkoski, executive director of the Racine County Food Bank said at the end of the evening, "I had hoped for more, but hey, it's more than we had this morning."