Back in March, Blues4Vets tested out a new virtual initiative by posting a live concert that would benefit WNY veterans. The live online concert initiative was such a success that the organizers have now decided to make this a weekly series. Additionally, the Buffalo Blues Benefit for Veterans music campaign has now been officially recognized by the Veterans Administration, Mayor Byron Brown, Congressman Brian Higgins, and County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who are all onboard offering their support. To date, $61,500 has been donated to the effort – an effort that directly supports non-profits that support veterans and military families.
The way the weekly Sunday concert series works is by converting 100% of the online donations into Tops grocery and gas cards. Then, the cards are delivered to the Buffalo Vet Center for distribution to the vets that are in greatest need (deemed by readjustment counselors). Many of these vets are not only dealing with PTSD, they are also dealing with the added stresses brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.
All of the online donations received will be used to procure Tops grocery or gas gift cards for area Veterans.
Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone, including Buffalo’s veterans, active duty military members and their families. I want to thank the Buffalo Blues Benefit for Veterans music campaign for making the decision to continue its Buffalo Blues Sunday Live Stream Series on a weekly basis. All of the online donations received will be used to procure Tops grocery or gas gift cards for area Veterans. I encourage everyone to support these concerts. They are a fun and safe way to practice social distancing, while also helping those who have served in the military in our community who are experiencing a hardship during this time.”
According to Bob James (lead image, standing with Mayor Brown), who is spearheading this event series, “Each concert features a diverse mix of talent, with 4 sets of 15 minutes each. Donating their time to date have been guitarist Grace Lougen, vocalist Megan Brown, band leader Vinne DeRosa, Michael Delano, touring artist David Miller, Tim Franczyk of The Kensingtons, a regular at the Sportsmens Tavern, plus Doug Yeomans who is a returning musician. This week’s concert features Yeomans plus Geno McManus, Porcelin Train, and Emmi James!”
To get in the loop, and to catch the live concerts, be sure to join the Facebook group, Buffalo Blues Sunday Live Stream Series.