CARBONEAR, NL — Local music recently brought Carbonear together in the name of charity.
The St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank in Carbonear has recently had some difficulty keeping up with the demand for their services.
However, just in time for the Christmas season, local musicians got together to play for a cause.
The Aldermen, a five-piece rock band based out of Carbonear, originally heard of the food bank’s plight through social media. The band, consisting of Justin Murray, Zack Nash, Patrick Broaders, Jordan Thorne and Tyler Butt, decided to do what they could to give back to their hometown.
The band, which worked closely with Peter Green throughout the night, performed alongside several other local acts, getting together to set off Foodstock 2017 – a 12-hour show consisting of live performances from The Aldermen and 12 other bands and performers such as Rodney Slade, Danita Vokey, and Aaron Churchill.
“It was really just about us giving back to the community, you know?” Murray told the Compass. “We’re living in St. John’s now, working and going to school, but Carbonear is where we grew up – it’s our home. Knowing that there are clearly people in need of food, especially this time of year with Christmas coming up, it just felt right to try and do something to help out.”
The event was held at McNally’s Billiards in Carbonear on Saturday, Nov. 25 starting at 2:15 p.m. and leading into the early hours of Sunday morning. Anyone wishing to attend paid $10 at the door, or $8 with a non-perishable food item, all of which would later be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank.
At the end of the night, with dozens of people in and out of the bar’s doors over the 12-hour period, a total of $1,300 was raised, as well as a hefty amount of food donations that were later hand-delivered by Murray.
He said the food bank was excited about the donation.
“It’s a real eye-opener,” Murray said of the food bank. “You don’t really realize just how many people rely on it until you’re there, and you see how fast the food is leaving the shelves. It’s not just a couple people here and there anymore. A lot of people need this, and it’s important for the community that it stays open, with enough food to go around.”
With a successful night under their belts, The Aldermen are proud of their accomplishment. Though it’s still a ways away, Murray hopes to see Foodstock become an annual event, always keeping the community in mind.
“We’ve played a lot shows in the community, and other places around – mostly at bars and stuff, but we’ve never really organized a big event like that,” Murray explained. “It felt good, but at the end of the day, it’s not really about us, the band, it’s about the community and the food bank. It’s about making sure people have something to eat during Christmas, and all year-round, really. So, yeah, if it’s possible for us, I’d definitely like to see another Foodstock happen next year.”