March 5, 2010

Thoughts for Food is tonight!

Labeled rocks the house at the Y Friday night

The teenagers came out in force Friday night, as the preliminary event of Thoughts for Food opened at the YMCA. Eight youth bands played their hearts out before an enthusiastic crowd of teens and proud parents.

As with the main event tonight at ten different stages in the neighborhood just north of the Root River each guest bought a ticket with cash and food for the Racine County Food Bank.

Tonight's concerts, featuring nearly 40 different bands -- all donating their services for free -- will take place at George's, the Eagles, Coasters, the Racine Yacht Club, Michigan's Pub, the Red Line Tavern, Chartroom Charlie's, the Rhino Bar and John's Dock. The bars, which donate to TFF as well, are all walking distance from each other on a good night. If you're not sure where any of these watering holes are located, here's a MAP.

Here's the complete schedule, telling who's playing where, and when. The music starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. Most of the bands will play for an hour to seventy-five minutes; the Red Line Tavern is hosting a blues jam, with an opening set and jamming after.

This is the 18th annual Thoughts for Food, so you should know the drill by now: bring $10 and two non-perishable food items to donate; put on your yellow wristband that provides entrance into all of the venues; and be prepared to have a great time. TFF began small 18 years ago -- "“A beer party with music for food” at George’s Tavern. Since then, it has raised over $300,000 and 70,000 pounds of food.

Keep an eye out for Dan Taivalkoski, executive director of the Racine County Food Bank. I used to think of Dan as the guy who distributed over 800,000 pounds of food each year to some 16 food pantries within the county -- no mean feat in itself. Those pantries provide some 60,000 meals a month.

He does all that. But as I keep running into him at these various events -- from the Harvest Benefit in November, the Polar Plunge on January 1, Empty Bowls last week, Thoughts for Food this week -- I have come to realize that he does much, much more than serve as a distributor. Someone has to encourage the donations as well -- especially in these hard times when some 20 percent more people are coming for free food each week. That's what Dan does so well -- and always with a smile.

So when you see Dan at this venue or that tonight, selling tickets, collecting food, rounding up the cash donations, be sure to say hello -- and thanks.

As he says: "These are hard times. Many people are in need. People that for years held a good job, owned a home, sent kids to college and donated to the community are now without work and in need of help. People that never, ever thought they would need assistance are struggling to remain financially solvent. A box of food helps them get along. It takes one more thing off of their troubled mind. It gives them a balanced and healthy diet for their family. Your attendance helps make this happen."

It's a tough job, and Dan does it so very, very well. Let him know you appreciate his efforts -- by showing up, and saying thanks.

Punk Rockers The Ruckus performed Friday night


  1. Excellent! However, if we had a decent socio-economic system which valued people more than the elite's filthy money, such events wouldn't be necessary. Needed:SOCIALISM!

  2. Get an new tune! Everyone is sick of you cutting and pasting the same comment to every news story.

  3. Thanks for all of your kind words, Pete. Truth be told, it's all of Racine's generous citizens that deserve all the credit though.

    From individuals to companies large and small, faith based groups and service clubs that contribute their time, talents and hard earned cash so some of our neighbors going through these difficult times can enjoy a meal. All of those folks make this job one of the most rewarding experiences that I've ever had.

    I encourage everyone to come out tonight and enjoy some extremely talented musicians and at the same time help some of your neighbors.


  4. Dear 3/06/2010 6:34 AM, My brothers and I will sing a new tune after we've destroyed corporate capitalism. Until then, we shall fight the porker-ations using any and all legal methods at our disposal.

  5. Move to another country that supports your Socialist views.

  6. By and large, Socialist nations don't welcome immigrants. So, if I want a fair deal for rank-and-file Americans, I'll have to fight for it in this sorry excuse for a country. My friends feel the same. Even if it takes us twenty years, we'll smash corporate capitalism, imprison the oligarchy and build a Socialist America.

  7. Pete, Dustin, Not really a fan of censorship, but can you delete or not post the moron who keeps ranting on almost every blog. Especially if it's a positive story. It's getting really old, and it's making you guys look bad because it overshadow people who have real things to say.
    Thank you.

  8. Dear JPM, What may or may not constitute "real things to say" is a matter of opinion. Just between you and the lamp post from which our oppressors may swing, Socialism is a worthwhile subject. Assuming the situation of ordinary Americans worsens during the next half decade or so, you could witness a rebirth of the Progressive Left and an end to the sickening capitalist winners-losers game. Someday we'll have a socio-economic system in which no citizens will go hungry while billionaire bullies blow big bucks on ballyhoo. While we're at it, we'll make sure that the former oppressors hold rock concerts and bakesales to support their arty avocations. (Wouldn't it be great if the government cared for the people and the erstwhile richie-poo elitists had to scrounge to maintain a farce like RAM?)

  9. Thanks to all who came to support the Younger bands on Friday at the YMCA!
    Jerry H.