BENNINGTON — A fundraiser and birthday bash to commemorate reggae singer Bob Marley will be held at the Mount Anthony Country Club on Feb. 6.
New England's premier reggae band Rebel Alliance will perform a tribute to Marley. Proceeds will go to the Bennington Vietnam Veteran's Family Outreach Center, WBTN Radio and Aurora Portal After School Program. A entry donation from $10 to $20 is recommended.
From 8 p.m. to midnight, Rebel Alliance will set the tone for a positive atmosphere with lead singer and guitarist Michael D. Wood, bass guitarist Alan Taylor, Michael J. Wood on the drums and a special guest guitarist.
The band enjoys spreading love and kindness in the community, according to Michael D. Wood.
"We want people to get out there to remember what live music is for," he said. "We want to bring people together and let them be that love and kindness."
The band has a vast knowledge of many Marley tunes to ring in the evening.
WBTN will be the primary media outlet covering the fundraiser as well as a full partner. New General Manager Aaron Sawyer is excited for the event because having a reggae band perform is "something completely different than what's been done in the area recently."
"Fundraising is an integral part of the potential success of WBTN as a whole, and we've noticed that Fidel does a lot of good work in the area. As far as teaming up with the other organizations, it seemed like a win-win," Sawyer said.
Local documentary maker Fidel Moreno is the creator of Aurora Portal 'Learning Another Way' gallery as a way "to initiate youth and young adult mentorships with artists, writers, poets and musicians in Bennington."
Moreno has hosted a weekly show on WBTN for five years now and decided it would be good to have the collaboration between the radio station and the Vietnam Veterans Family Outreach Center. Bringing nonprofits together helps to raise more money as well as bring awareness to community members who aren't aware of such organizations.
"John Miner is doing a great job of bringing greater public awareness and support for ongoing Veterans services and medical and health benefits," Moreno said. "It was a natural outcome to bring our resources and networks together and make this fundraiser happen."
"It's the first time we're hosting a communal benefit," Maru Leon of the country club said. "It will be great to combine these three groups of people in one party. These organizations overlap because Bennington relies on the same volunteers and nonprofit. It will be a nice night to celebrate his [Marley] birthday as well."
Leon admires the fact that commemorating Bob Marley on his birthday will bring about a more casual dance and environment to the event and hopes all walks of the community will take part despite country club stereotypes.
"We're always trying to fight the stigma that country clubs are private or expensive," Leon said. "We're happy to host this event and demonstrate that it's open for everyone all the time and it's a great community venue."
In addition to reggae music, the Grille will offer Jamaican food and drink specials during the event, Leon said.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.