Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Venice Community Housing Corporation

This past Sunday's fund raising champagne brunch for the Venice Community Housing Corporation is the kind of event I love to be involved in...making music for a very deserving cause. The VCHC owns and manages 200 units of non-profit affordable housing. They also provide comprehensive supportive programs including job training, youth development and employment, life skills coaching and family services to help people regain or retain their self-reliance.

The brunch and silent auction is an annual affair to raise money for the VCHC. The setting was a huge yard and our stage had a colorful canvas back-drop, created by some of the young people who have benefited from the VCHC youth programs. 

We started making music at 11am, and that's early for a singer. Fortunately Eric Ahlberg did an outstanding job running the sound and I had a great band with me...Theo Saunders, Ryan McGillicudy and Kendall Kay. We kicked it off with Donald Kahn and Stanley Styne's A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP. The crowd was very gracious and in a festive mood. My husband Jerry joined us on guitar for a few of his original tunes, BARCELONA, IT'S AN UNDERSTATEMENT, and WHIRLWIND ROMANCE.
Theo Saunders and I in front of the colorful canvas.

With Ryan McGillicudy on Bass

We took a break around noon and made way for the formal program. There were very moving speeches by two people who had been able to turn their lives around with the help of VCHC programs and counseling. This is what the afternoon was all about. It was heart-warming to hear testimonials directly from the beneficiaries.

Enjoying a break with some of the VCHC's wonderful supporters.


After the break we came back for more music. By this time I was more warmed up! It was a beautiful day and the band was smoking on tunes like OUT OF THIS WORLD and LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE. Theo played terrific solos on the bossa HOW INSENSITIVE and the bluesy JUST FOR A THRILL.We ended with an up-tempo swing version of YOU'D BE SO NICE TO COME HOME TO that features Ryan's driving bass solo.
Theo on piano, Kendall on drums, Ryan on bass.
The brunch was over but the music festival continued with three great bands, the Luminaire's, The 44's and Allensworth. I'd like to thank Sheri Determan for taking these photos. Also thanks to Kristin Laskaris for all of her help setting up the event. It was a perfect day for a good cause and I'm so happy to have been a part of it. To learn more about the Venice Community Housing Corporation please visit their web site at www.vchcorp.org.

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