LIVE: Fruit of the Spirit Benefit Concert @ TJ’s Flightline Pub, 12/10/16
Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy
As Tanneal Green sits back now that the holiday season is behind her, she can reflect about the success of two fundraisers she initiates every year in Greater Nippertown.
One was held in November at Schenectady’s Stovetop Irish Grille, and the second was a benefit concert in December at TJ’s Flightline Pub in Glenville as part of her Fruit of the Spirit charity project. As a result of her efforts – and those of volunteers, musicians and club owners – 73 families received a visit from Santa Claus with all the holiday trimmings.
The project is now entering its 12th year. “I started out asking about assisting with one family for Christmas 11 years ago,” she said. The caseworker she talked to gave her a list of 10. “It took on a life of its own.”
“By the fall, my mom and I begin to recruit items for the gift baskets for raffles,” she added, “as we make them ourselves. We have a great group of volunteers each year that help pull it all together.”
Through all the chaos of a hectic delivery day she adds that there is nothing like it – seeing the faces of the children that day.
At the December benefit concert, blues band JV & the Cutters opened for the Heavenly Echoes, a local gospel group. Don Wilcock – veteran music writer and regular Nippertown contributor – emceed the event at the request of Green, his stepdaughter.
The double-bill paring of bands meant a busy, double-duty day for Joe Abbey – the guitarist and bandleader of JV & the Cutters also plays bass for the Heavenly Echoes. Playing with the Echoes gives Cutter a chance to play bass the way he likes to, which is totally different than he does when playing blues. He describes it as a “less is more” style.
“I was glad to see people and friends come out for this event,” Abbey said. “It’s meaningful, and it benefits so many, right here.”