ShareThis Page

Fundraiser in 4th year of propping up Arnold park

| Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Dan Speicher | For Trib Total Media
Soul Raydio will once again perform at Rockin' Roosevelt in Roosevelt Park in Arnold.

For Lou Downard of the New Ken Arnold Social in the Park Committee, Rockin' Roosevelt is about both the past and the future.

The one-day fundraiser concert happens from noon to 8 p.m. May 15 and features more than a dozen acts and craft and food vendors in Roosevelt Park in Arnold.

Admission is $5, and the concert raises money to cover the costs of providing playground attendants at the Drey Street park. The committee started the fundraiser several years ago when the city could not afford to pay attendants, which led to the park being closed.

“I grew up in Arnold, and my grandfather took me to the park all the time. For those of us in the group, it's very nostalgic,” Downard says.

“I've taken my grandson down to the park, now that he's a year old. I think that's the thing that motivated us in the beginning, getting (Roosevelt) park open and getting things done at Memorial Park.”

The group also organizes a concert each September in New Kensington's Memorial Park.

The concert features local musicians whose sounds range from soul to rock to contemporary Christian.

“When I was a kid, there were all these bands there,” Downard says. “There was always music.”

Committee member Mario Tempest also has fond memories of the park.

“I spent my childhood down at Roosevelt Park,” he says. “Most of us did. It's a big reason why we do this.”

Downard, Tempest and their fellow committee members have been bringing music back to the park for four years.

The event raised about $4,500 last year. Downard sees other benefits springing from the concerts in the parks, as well.

“It's about community, too,” he says. “You get people down there who may not see each other on a regular basis. You get people from every walk of life.”

Vocalist Marcie Covey is looking forward to returning to Roosevelt this year. Last year, she and her country music band On the Ridge played. This year, she will be there with a new Christian band, Risen to Save. She sees the show as a great value for a great cause.

“You can walk in there, and every half an hour, a different kind of music is coming on. Every half-hour, there is something new,” she says. “You get access to all of that for $5, and that $5 is going to keep that park alive.”

This year, Andre Carter and his New Kensington-based Jamz Avenue music studio are organizing a second acoustic stage. Five up-and-coming musicians will play there between main-stage sets.

“It's a way to get them experience and exposure — and, hopefully, next year they'll be on the main stage,” Carter says.

The second stage is a great way to add more bands, Tempest says. As the event has become more well-known, he says, they've had to turn musicians away.

“The bands donate their time, and we still have a list of people waiting even though they do it for free,” he says.

J. Elizabeth Martin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.