Local musicians gather for ‘Fall Jam Fest’

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Oct. 5, 2011
The band Idol Tree performs at the first ‘Musicians for Greater Causes’ Fall Jam Fest in Stafford. Photos by Wally Robinson.
The band Idol Tree performs at the first ‘Musicians for Greater Causes’ Fall Jam Fest in Stafford. Photos by Wally Robinson.

The first “Musicians for Greater Causes” Fall Jam Fest was held at the outdoor pavilion at the American Legion Hall in Stafford Springs on Oct. 1. The admission price was $10 and a pair of non-perishable food items, with all proceeds from the event to benefit cancer foundations, the MS Society and Safenet Ministries.

The local band TOD opened the show at 2:30 p.m., followed by sets from Idol Tree, Tempest Fugit, Ziggy DuBoise, Lorraine Drive, and Rude Blues that filled the night with music until the wee hours.

The original goal of the Fall Jam Fest was quite different than it turned out to be. Organizer Jason Foppe, a member of the Ziggy DuBoise band, had been raising money through various events to help defray medical expenses for his wife, Melissa.

A 30-year-old licensed social worker, Melissa suffered a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma and had to have her left hand amputated. “Her insurance covered the surgery, but not the prosthetic hand she needs or the therapy that is required,” Foppe explained. “It’s complicated, but the bottom line is we needed cash.”

Foppe and his friends did everything from bake sales to car washes to raise money. “What really put us over the top was money raised by the Relay for Life, run by the White family at ECSU,” Foppe said. “It was incredible. When news of Melissa’s situation got out, we started getting donations from people in the mail. Their generosity just blew my mind.”

Then, with enough money already collected to pay for the prosthesis and therapy, and the Jam Fest already scheduled, the next move for Foppe and his fellow musicians was easy. “I wanted to give back to the community that had reached out to us,” Foppe said. “It was a no-brainer. We’re planning to make this an annual event.”

All of the funds raised, including sales of food and beverages, will go to the charities. Foppe expects to raise several thousand dollars. He can be contacted at musicmastermind@yahoo.com.

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