Music and money to aid the hungry

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LANSING – A benefit concert featuring local bands raised more than $500 for the Greater Lansing Food Bank on Feb. 21 at Mac’s Bar.

“The economy is improving, but it isn’t improving for everybody,” said Kim Gladstone, development manager of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. “ The dollars raised through these events help support families and individuals for years to come.”

S4 Pic2GodleskyGladstone said people perceive that only the unemployed come to the food bank. However, about 35 percent of individuals that occupy the food bank have an employed person at home, and about 1 in 4 local kids face hunger.

“Some individuals that used to be donors are now using the food bank because personal circumstances have changed for them,” Gladstone said. “I just want to tip my hat to our volunteers and to the people who organize and attend these events.”

Todd Karinen is organizer of the 3rd annual benefit concert, local resident and member of band, the Jackpine Snag. Karinen was pleased to see an attendance of more than one hundred people.

“As a musician, trying to get people to come out to shows is sometimes harder than playing the show, so when people do come out it’s a nice feeling,” Karinen said. “People will go out of their way to come to a show because it’s for charity.”

Karinen booked the five local bands that performed in the show: Blackburn Killin (cq), Teenage Slumber Party, the Devil’s Cut, The Hat Madder and Decades.

“I always say this is a testament to the Lansing music scene,” Karinen said. “Bands and people who go out to shows with this going on are also willing to donate their time and help out, and that’s a very positive thing.”

Blackburn Killin opened the show with bandmates Lauren Corey, Clinton Cox, Kyle Corey and Ben Mecher.

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“The best thing is seeing young people doing things and getting out there because we can,” Corey said.

Young people, like Matt Watterman of Decades, feel strong ties to Lansing and support to the community.

“I’ve thought about moving to a bigger city before where there would be more music or opportunities,” Watterman said. “But this is where my friends are, and I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve grown up.”

Watterman said he wants to stay and represent the city by playing music for as long as he possibly can.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the show went to the food bank.

“It’s always important that we have these events and that the community supports the food bank,” Gladstone said.

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