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The Times
  • Concert to benefit Gram Lorraine program

  • The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and the Fallen Stars Memorial Committee are offering a chance to get in the holiday spirit while giving back to the community.

    The annual Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Sarkus-Busch Theater on the Herkimer County Community College campus.

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  • The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and the Fallen Stars Memorial Committee are offering a chance to get in the holiday spirit while giving back to the community.
    The annual Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Sarkus-Busch Theater on the Herkimer County Community College campus.
    The concert will raise moneys to purchase winter coats for children in need and to pay for maintenance and travel costs for the Fallen Stars Memorial murals.
    “It’s a way to have a wonderful afternoon and raise awareness,” said Richard Monahan, commander of Crowley-Barnum American Legion Post No. 25 and a member of the Fallen Stars Memorial Committee. “It’s a privilege to be able to do something to pay tribute to our veterans.”
    Veterans will be special guests of the hunger coalition and the memorial committee and will not be charged the $5 admission fee. In addition to performing Christmas favorites, the Steve Falvo Easy Money Big Band will pay tribute to the World War II veterans in attendance through music.
    “For this year’s concert, we wanted to do it big. Steve’s band played at our concert honoring Korean War veterans last year at HCCC and it was fabulous,” said Ray Lenarcic, a member of the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and Fallen Stars Memorial Committee. “Two great vocalists and Herkimer Central School music teacher and trumpeter Jim Traglia will also perform. Jim’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ was incredible and I’ve asked him to perform it again this year.”
    One concert-goer will win $150 during a drawing at intermission.
    Also during intermission, the hunger coalition will recognize sponsors and coordinators of this year’s Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Clothing Program, as well as the recipients of the Six Angels of Christmas awards. This year’s recipients include Patricia Crozier and the staff of Lexington Center, Observer-Dispatch Opinion Page Editor Dave Dudajek, State Farm insurance agent Scott Grates and Benton Hall Academy teachers Lisa Rice, Tammy Roorda and Kim Traut. The award is presented to individuals or organizations which over the years have personified the Christmas spirit of giving through their many contributions to enhance the quality of life for area children. The six angels were the McLeod children who perished in a house fire on Dec. 22, 1991, in the city of Little Falls.
    The Fallen Stars Memorial Mural will be on display and the concert will take place in the memory of Fallen Stars Army Specialist Brett Gornewicz, of Alden, Army Specialist Ryan Jayne, of Campbell, and Army Staff Sergeant Dain Venne, of Port Henry, all of whom were killed in action in Afghanistan on Nov. 3. The mural depicts the name, hometown, rank and picture of the men and women from New York who have died while serving in the nation’s armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We hope the weather holds and encourage area veterans, especially our area World War II veterans, to join us for what will be an enjoyable afternoon,” said Lenarcic. “This concert is for them.”
    “Last year’s concert was a success and we hope to build on that success this year,” said Monahan. “I hope our area veterans turn out and help us fill the auditorium. It would be great to see a packed house as the proceeds will help the Gram Lorraine program provide needy children with winter coats.”
    Concert tickets are available at the Crowley-Barnum American Legion Post Home in Mohawk and will also be available at the door. The Sarkus-Busch Theater is in the Robert McLaughlin College Center.

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