Musicians team with credit union against hunger

Posted Jan. 20, 2010, at 7:57 p.m.
The Burnham Boys, a local country and roots rock band that broke up two years ago, reunited Saturday for the Sebasticook Valley Opry, the proceeds of which benefited local food pantries. Photo Courtesy of matthewrobbinsphoto.com. COUSINS STORY
The Burnham Boys, a local country and roots rock band that broke up two years ago, reunited Saturday for the Sebasticook Valley Opry, the proceeds of which benefited local food pantries. Photo Courtesy of matthewrobbinsphoto.com. COUSINS STORY

PITTSFIELD, Maine — A recent revival of the Sebasticook Valley Opry by local musicians Peter Witham and Dan McCaw netted almost $16,000 for food pantries in the area, according to organizers.

The Opry, staged last Saturday at Pittsfield Community Theatre for the first time since 2008, played to a sold-out show and gathered $1,277 in ticket receipts. Through the buying power of the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Lewiston, which serves food pantries all over Maine, that money bought a total of $15,963 worth of food, according to a press release.

Saturday’s concert, sponsored by Sebasticook Valley Credit Union as part of its campaign to end hunger in its service area, featured a blend of roots music, country and early rock ’n’ roll in a family-friendly atmosphere.

“It was a great concept,” said Witham. “It’s community musicians playing to the community at a community theater, in conjunction with the community credit union, for a cause that will benefit that very community. It just made good sense.”

Witham and McCaw are former members of a band called The Burnham Boys, who reunited for Saturday’s concert. The event also doubled as a CD release party for Witham’s new band, Pete Witham & the Cozmik Zombies.

Tara Pomeroy of Sebasticook Valley Credit Union said the credit union also sponsors a golf tournament, the proceeds of which also battle hunger at the local level.

“We raise money all year long for ending hunger,” said Pomeroy. “It’s an ongoing effort.”

Pomeroy said the credit union is considering continuing the Sebasticook Valley Opry, possibly twice a year.

“We both knew it was just a matter of time before the Sebasticook Valley Opry would ride again,” said McCaw. “It was all a question of when.”

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