TOWNSEND -- On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Townsend VFW will play host to the Silver Wolf Entertainment's Musical Christmas and Buffet Dinner. The fundraising event will go towards the foundation's mission of providing aid for local musicians and entertainers. Several local musicians will be performing holiday music, including a Johnny Mathis impressionist.
"We have a lot of talent coming in, some new and some have been along with Silver Wolf for a little while," said co-founder and Townsend resident Tubby Boucher. "It will be fun; there will be games, music, a raffle, dancing."
The event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person or $15 per couple and are being sold in advance and at the door. Several local restaurants will be providing for the buffet.
Silver Wolf Entertainment serves a dual purpose: First and foremost, their goal is to aid local entertainers in any way necessary, whether it is providing a place to perform, money to help produce a CD or new musical equipment; second, they hope to help local businesses by booking unfilled venues for entertainers to perform, drawing in more patrons. The long-standing goal is to boost the local economy.
"We want to keep it as local as possible," said Boucher.
The seed for the foundation was planted a couple of years ago, when Boucher met Groton resident Neil Colicchio at what is now the Gourmet Donut in Townsend. The two men bonded over a mutual love of music and an urge to support the local community. Each had his own show on local public access television and the duo decided to team up on a joint effort, a show called "Our Neighborhood." The show acted as a round-table discussion of topics of community interest. It was through this show that the men caught wind of local issues that resounded with them.
"One thing we heard a lot about was how business was hurting," said Colicchio. The other main issue that struck a chord, he said, was "(local) entertainers who can't get employment or are having financial problems."
Initially, the men toyed with the idea of beginning a scholarship for local musicians, but an issue arose.
"We were concerned that a scholarship would help just one person, and we knew so many (entertainers) who needed help. Some weren't even in school," said Colicchio.
Thus, Silver Wolf Entertainment was founded. As well as providing for causes that both men felt passionately about, creating their own foundation had additional perks. First, it increased entertainment options within the local community.
"One thing I heard from both of my sons (when we moved here) was that there is not much to do," said Colicchio.
The other benefit, both for the founders as well as the donators, is to know where donations are going.
"We will be able to tell the community this person was able to benefit from what we did," said Colicchio.
Even in cases in which the recipient wanted to be kept anonymous, donators would know they would have helped someone in the community. Colicchio and Boucher, who had participated in a Make-a-Wish Foundation fundraiser, said with other fundraisers, that isn't always the case.
"You can't see that face," said Colicchio.
As of right now, Silver Wolf Entertainment is still in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization. When that happens, said the founders, there will likely be a formal application process to be able to receive aid. In the interim, they are setting up a trust fund for the donations and are helping out where they hear that it is needed.
There is one rule to being a recipient: You have to agree to perform at a nursing home, a rehab or an assisted-living facility.
"The most pleasurable thing in the world is either laughter or a smile. These are the most appreciative people in the world," said Colicchio. "If you can't give back, it's really not worth doing the whole thing."
Silver Wolf Entertainment plans to have several other fundraisers and community events in the future; the founders have brainstormed ideas ranging from family hockey games to New Year's Eve celebrations. Regardless, there will always be live entertainment included.
Colicchio and Boucher hope to use the events to introduce residents to hidden treasures within their community.
"It would bring the community in on what is really out there that is not being told," said Colicchio.