In the spirit of giving that accompanies the holiday season, Cape Cod residents and music lovers ventured out on a cold weekend night to share the warmth at the Third Fret Coffeehouse in Marston Mills. On Saturday, December 12, the local coffeehouse in collaboration with UMass Boston’s WUMB Radio and student organization Golden Key International Honour Society sponsored a free benefit concert at Liberty Hall on Main Street. Admission to the Share the Warmth concert was free with the donation of new or used clean warm winter clothes. Liberty Hall contributed to the goodwill by offering its space free of charge to the event’s organizers.
Musicians Danielle Miraglia and Larry Zarella donated their talents to help support the cause. Miraglia, a native of Somerville, opened the concert and mesmerized the standing room only audience with her smoky vocals and bluesy soul performance on acoustic guitar. Zarella, a guitar-playing singer/songwriter, originally from Sagamore Beach, engaged concert goers with his intriguing voice and sense of humor. At times throughout his performance, the audience was singing and laughing out loud to his tunes.
As concertgoers arrived, they dropped off clothing donations to volunteers. Some local residents also stopped in to drop off donations but could not stay for the concert. Volunteers were overwhelmed with the show of support and the number of donations received, including many brand new items. One couple mentioned to volunteers that while shopping for holiday gifts they spent $125 on four new coats for the clothing drive.
“Every item donated tonight will impact the life of someone in need”, said Christine DePalma as she organized and sorted through a multitude of clothing items, including at least 100 warm coats. DePalma, an assistant campus planner at UMass Boston and co-advisor of the Golden Key chapter on campus noted that in addition to making a difference in the lives of others, the annual student organized clothing drive also helps students develop skills and knowledge including leadership, communication, marketing, project planning, and management.
Golden Key has sponsored a clothing drive for at least the past eight years on the UMass Boston campus and has collaborated with WUMB Radio for five of those years. For the past couple of years, the students have also partnered with the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association, taking the drive to a new level off campus and into several coffeehouses throughout the state of Massachusetts. This year, six coffeehouses, are participating in the annual drive and helping to share the warmth with individuals and families in need from the North Shore to Cape Cod.
“This event is another great example of a coffeehouse committed to providing an enjoyable evening of music while helping their local community. Kudos, to the Third Fret, Liberty Hall, the performers and attendees for caring enough to make Cape Cod and the Islands a better place to live for others”, said Pat Monteith, general manager for WUMB Radio.
“We’re overwhelmed by the generosity by those who came out tonight,” said Tracey Delfino, Third Fret Coffeehouse host and event organizer. It is estimated that over 1,500 pounds of clothes (nearly a ton!) were donated at the concert, all benefiting programs organized and offered by the Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and the Islands.
When asked if he would participate in another clothing drive concert next winter, Larry Zarella smiled and nodded his head up and down as he unloaded his truck that helped to transfer donated clothing items to the benefiting organization. “I think we should make it an annual event.” Stay tuned!