Local musicians, businesses join forces to release Weekender’s ‘Christmas for a Cause’ album
We made a Christmas CD.
By we, I mean Weekender and the Times Leader Media Group, in conjunction with very talented local artists including Aaron Fink, Andrew Sleboda, Suze, Jordan Ramirez, Robb Brown, Jon & Kate + Fate, The Grey Street Experience and Dustin Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen.
Why’d we do it? We wanted to use Weekender, which is under the media group’s umbrella, as a platform to do something good for the community around the holidays. We tapped some of the area’s most talented musicians and asked for their help with creating music for the album.
Our musicians recorded four original songs, written just for this CD, along with some gripping renditions of holiday classics. James Yamrus, from King Room Studios mixed and mastered the final product. Now we have an awesome CD for sale, the proceeds of which will help benefit senior citizens in Luzerne County through Home Instead.
Home Instead owner Alyssa Maria said this is the 11th year she has been a part of ‘Be A Santa To A Senior’ because it aligns so closely with her business mission.
“In our county we have the highest number of seniors in the country, second to (Miami-) Dade County in Florida,” she said. “Unfortunately, many of the seniors here are financially needy as well as socially isolated. ‘Be A Santa To A Senior’ was started so that those seniors could receive a gift and have some companionship during the holidays.”
There are so many amazing charities that do so much for children during the holiday, which is part of the reason we decided we wanted to help a different demographic in our community.
“Local caseworkers at the Area Agency on Aging identify the seniors in need, and figure out what they could use,” Maria said. “The seniors aren’t necessarily expecting gifts. We have gotten thank you notes from seniors who are overjoyed that they received a gift that they didn’t expect to get. The seniors just really appreciate it; even the smallest things, they find it heartwarming.”
Those small things include items like tissues, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, razors, throw blankets, word search books and sweatshirts. Gifts will be returned to Home Instead and on Dec. 5, the public is invited to attend a wrap party from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 5 at the Area Agency on Aging annex building, 93 N. State St. Wilkes-Barre.
“If people want to come and wrap, if they could call and volunteer just so we can keep track of the number,” Maria said. “We want to make sure we have a spot for everyone.”
To reserve a spot, call 570-714-4260.
Creating this “Christmas for a Cause” album has truly been a community effort. Gerard Durling and his team at Coal Creative helped put ideas to print as did graphic artist Chris “Kamala” Towns who designed the album’s cover. Several local businesses helped out with donations and now we’re ready to sell.
Aaron did a great cover of “We Three Kings,” Andrew Sleboda and Suze wrote original songs about a dog during Christmas and how Santa looks like Dad.
The Grey Street Experience offered its take on “Carol of the Bells” and Jon & Kate + Fate wrote a song about Christmas coming sooner every year.
Sure, we’re self promoting, but this album is really a great gift for anyone, especially those who are so passionate about the local music scene as we are.
Check out a little of each of the songs by clicking here.
If you’re interested in buying one, the CDs are $9.99. The first 25 people to pick one up will get a free Weekender bag too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
For more info about the CD or to reserve a copy, call 570-991-6111 or email [email protected]
Reach Sarah Haase at 570-991-6111 or at [email protected]
HOW TO GET THE ALBUM:
Stop by the Kirby Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 26 during Small Business Saturday and visit the Weekender table.
Call 570-991-6111 or email [email protected]
The first 25 people to buy a CD get a free Weekender bag with purchase.