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Holiday benefit concerts helping those in need

Thursday, December 6th, 2012 | Posted by | no responses

By MELODY KARPINSKI / Santa Rosa Correspondent

It was Christmas 2000.

A’Roma Roasters had just started a toy drive, but the eclectic Railroad Square coffee shop encountered a problem.

“When we tried to deliver the toys to the homeless children, we were told that they couldn’t keep (all) of them,” said Dayna Irvine, one of A’Roma’s co-owners. “They could only carry what they could fit in their back packs.”

Irvine and her partner, Kay Irvine, decided to do something about it. Kay, an avid singer, suggested putting on a benefit concert at A’Roma with the goal of raising enough money to buy what some of the kids they’d seen needed more than toys.

“Things like backpacks, socks, clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries,” said Irvine. “We have been doing the concert for the past 10 years, and our goal is to raise $5000 this year.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Dec. 8 concert will go to The Living Room, a Santa Rosa day facility for homeless moms and their children. Minimum donation for entrance into the concert is $25, but for those who can’t attend donations can also be made via check at A’Romas.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at A’Roma Roasters Cafe, 95 Fifth St. Tickets are $25. Info: 576-7765, aromaroasters.com.

The Last Day Saloon will also host a benefit concert on December 14, featuring the Bay Area hard rock band Voodoo Saints, the Christmas band and local country artist McKenna Faith. The concert will benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

“The concert is an event for the Redwood Empire Food Bank, and to get the community to rally around ending hunger,” said David Daher, owner of the saloon. “Usually we do a toy benefit, but this year we see so many in need (that) we decided to see what we could do to help feed the community we live in and raise awareness.”

Concert attendees will be charged $10 plus one can of food. The Christmas band will give away a free Christmas CD to those who bring five cans.

The concert will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, at the Last Day Saloon, 120 Fifth St., and will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10 + a can of food. Info: 545-5876, lastdaysaloon.com. 

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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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