Inspired to help the people of the Philippines recover from the devastation inflicted by Super Typhoon Haiyan last November, local teens collaborated to stage a concert Friday night to benefit relief efforts.
Titled "Family Concert to Benefit the American Red Cross Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Effort," the event at Roger Ludlowe Middle School was coordinated by the Fairfield Town Youth Council and the Parks and Recreation Department, under the guidance Ginna Paules, the parks and recreation program director. The event raised funds through the sale of raffle items, baked goods, pizza and school spirit wear, while featuring a lineup of local musicians.
In the early part of the evening, T-Bone, a popular performer at summertime Sand Jam concerts at Jennings Beach, teamed with Grammy Award winner Les Julian to entertain younger fans and their families. Later, high school-age talents like Niles Luther and Spencer Bebon, as well as pop singer Ada Pasternak, took the stage to play for older attendees.
First Selectman Michael Tetreau made a brief appearance at the outset of the event to read a proclamation and declare the date as "New Year, New Hope Philippines Benefit Family Concert Day".
"In the town of Fairfield, we call upon all citizens to come together in this new year to help the Philippines recover and to offer them the Fairfield community's kindness and goodwill," Tetreau read from the proclamation to Town Youth Council members.
Erica Hughes, executive director of Bright Horizons day care, a co-sponsor of the concert, said, "As part of our mission, we support children and families in need around the world," said Hughes. "The tragedy in the Philippines was horrible. It's rewarding to know we are helping the relief efforts."
Paules recounted how the concert came together: "When the disaster happened, the council came to me about doing a benefit," she said. "We thought we'd gear it to families. The rescheduling may have hurt us a bit, but it brought all our council kids together to do an awesome job."
Margeaux Hummerstone, who is part Filipino and co-president of the Town Youth Council, which now has 47 members, said the event was in keeping with the council's mission to support community causes, "This is the biggest fundraiser that we've ever done," she said.