As soon as he finished singing the National Anthem, Angelo Manni said, “This was my first time doing this; it’s emotional and I started thinking about my father and tonight’s cause. I’m not a veteran but my dad was a veteran and I can’t picture him being homeless.”
Manni was not alone in reflecting on the sacrifices made by veterans Saturday when Mother Bogart & Friends joined forces with the Tri-City Elks to “combat against homelessness among our nation’s veterans.”
Two bands – Mother Bogart & Friends headed by Manni and Peter Barth – and Housefire and Rob DeReamer’s award-winning Black Dog BBQ turned Lodge 14’s picturesque Rossi Park into a fun-and-food-filled event that netted $4,200 and will be used to help currently homeless veterans in a number of ways.
“We were hoping to break all records,” said Manni while noting last year’s initial fund-raiser resulted in upwards of $5,500. “Everyone was excited, we received lots of support but perhaps we raised the bar too high this time.”
Nonetheless, Lori Eaton – who serves as Veterans Chairman for the Tri-City Elks – wanted it known: “We’re thrilled with the results of this great event. We had a bus tour here from the Braintree-Weymouth Elks in Massachusetts and every one of those 58 people were impressed with the bands, music and overall set-up.”
She also emphasized while talking with members of the Mother Bogart & Friends band, “It was the first time Angelo has ever sung the National Anthem but you’d never know that by the way he sang it; he did an awesome job.”
Thus Eaton, as well as Manni, said: “We want to thank everyone who helped with the cause for their generous donations, most especially Inskip and Tavern 12. We’re already planning for next year’s event and we intend to make it bigger and even better.”
Barth, meanwhile, offered: “Thank you to everyone who helped; the cause means the world to me and all my band mates.”
Scott DeLory, son of the late Albert M. “Cookie” DeLory, a highly-active member of the Tri-City Elks who passed away on May 26 of this year at age 77 was also appreciative.
“Scott wanted to be part of this fundraiser in honor of homeless veterans,” Manni related. “He wanted to join us during both sets and sing. It was great having him on board and he did a super job; we’re excited that he’s already signed on for next year.”
Scott DeLory, who was joined at the microphone for a special salute to his late father by his mother Carol DeLory, Eaton, Elks Exalted ruler Deb Mangina as well as Manni and Barth, said with a sense of strength ringing in his voice: “I think about my father every day; I miss him dearly – we all miss him. Cookie meant so much too so many people.”
Meanwhile, Manni wanted it known: “Then you to the Tri-City Elks. They were a big, big part of this. The Lodge welcomed us here and this was an awesome group effort by a lot of people who had – and have – a common goal to never forget our veterans and who should never have to worry about having a home.”
Even Tony Piccolo, who serves as president of the Massachusetts State Association of Elks was impressed with Lodge 14’s unmatched hospitality and food and told Mark Eaton, RI Elks Vice president, “Congratulations to Tri-City, two wonderful bands and barbecue cooks for the respect they’re showing our veterans here tonight.”