March 5, 2010
Thoughts for Food is tonight!
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.