Written by 12 year old Ian Costello:
Give Back & Tribute Night at
LaSalle Market & Deli
Saturday May 23, 2015, 7 - 10 PM
104 Main Street, Collinsville, Connecticut
At the end of every month, locally owned LaSalle Market and Deli hosts a great event called a “Give Back Night”. The events are on the fourth Saturday of every month, from 7 to 10pm. The event has existed for around 3 years and was founded by singer-songwriter, Bill Benson, with the support of LaSalle’s awesome owners. Basically, a Give Back Night is a perfect example of what I like to call “arts and activism”. A band or two performs, and the people who come to the Give Back Night donate money to a selected cause; a cause that the band playing that night cares about, hence the words “give back”. It’s a way for people to give back to the community while having a fun time jammin’ along with musicians.
When I first heard of the Give Back Night, I knew I wanted to host one of my own. Luckily for me, I have gone to so many open mic nights in the area that I have developed relationships with other local musicians. With their help, and support from LaSalle’s owner, we got together and scripted out our Give Back Night.
This Give Back Night is a little different because not only is it a Give Back Night, it is also kind of a Tribute Night. Essentially, we are hosting 4 different bands, The CRB, The Cody Bondra Band, my band: BRO-kin, and musician Melanie Michaud. We will all be performing the music of artists we respect. I will be paying tribute to my idol, Jason Mraz, and others will honor Bob Marley, Bon Jovi and Ed Sheeran. These artists where selected because they all have made efforts to use their music and fame to support charitable causes to make a difference in the world. The entire night is celebrating the principle of arts and activism.
I got my idea for hosting this event in part because I help lead a community service club called the Take Action Club (TAC) at my elementary school. We are supported by an incredible organization called Free the Children www.freethechildren.org. It’s a long story but the organization helps empower youth to make the world a better place. We tackle many issues including how to break the cycle of poverty, locally and globally. I helped start this club at our school two years ago, and it’s been a great success. We have just recently raised over $10,000 to help build a school in a community in Ecuador. We are now shifting our focus from a club-wide global campaign to a personal “finding your own spark” focus where we are encouraging everyone to use your own passion and talents to help change the world. So when I first got my eyes on the idea of a Give Back Night, I was psyched.
Because I think that all kids should have lots of chances to learn music, donations for our Give Back Night are going to the Burns Latino Studies Academy’s music department in one of two ways; money donations will be accepted and used to purchase percussion instruments for the school, or pre-owned/used instruments can be donated. Now the Burns Latino Studies Academy might sound like a fancy private school or even college. But really, it is a Pre K-8 grade public school located in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood; that lacks many resources for their students. For example, at my school, we have 400 kids and three music teachers; one chorus, one orchestra, and one band. At the Burns Latino Studies Academy, there is one music teacher for 650 kids, and a lack of instruments meaning that kids do not have as many opportunities to experience the awesome power of music.
The Give Back Night event is a special night where people young and old come together to celebrate the love of music and hold out a hand to the community. Like Free the Children speaker Prince Harry said, “Some people don’t think it’s cool to help others. Personally, I think it is the coolest thing in the world.” LaSalle Market has and will always be a special place to me. The music community is warm, loving, and a really fun place to hang around with old friends and to get to know new ones. We hope to see you there on May 23rd!
For more information, go to LaSalle’s web site and click on the Give Back link at www.lasallemarket.com or contact me at 860-748-3814.