Concert strikes dual chord in Arnold
Lou Downard remembers spending summer days in his youth in Arnold's Roosevelt Park.
“It was the place where you went when you were a kid,” said Downard, 56, now of Lower Burrell. “Roosevelt Park was kind of a hub; you'd meet your friends down there.
“If you were sitting in the house watching TV in the summer, you'd be shooed outside. It was a different time.”
On a pleasant summer day a few years ago, Downard noticed the park was void of playing children.
The city couldn't afford to pay full-time park monitors. So, what was once a constant sign of summer, was only open once or twice a week.
“You'd see kids looking through the fence,” Downard said. “They wanted to be in there.”
So Downard, along with his wife, Cindy, and other members of the New Kensington Arnold Social in the Park — an event held every fall in New Kensington's Memorial Park, to raise money for that park — approached the city about opening the park for the summer.
Out sprung the Rockin' Roosevelt Benefit Concert.
The second-year event, which takes place on Sunday, raises money for the city to hire monitors to keep the park open from noon to 8 p.m., five days a week.
The event, starting at noon, will feature 12 bands, six food vendors and countless activities for young and old alike.
Downard said Kinloch Meals on Wheels will be at the event to collect nonperishable food.
Admission is $5.
“Everyone's donating their time and talent,” Downard said. “There are so many talented people in this area.
“It's amazing,” he said. “We have so many people that want to volunteer, but we don't have enough jobs for them.”
Members from the local arena football team, the Pittsburgh Power, will be on hand to greet attendees.
“They'll be selling $35 tickets for $20,” Downard said. “They're going to donate $5 from every ticket sold to us.”
Arnold Mayor Larry Milito said having the park open is vital to his community.
“It gets kids off the street and gives them something to do,” he said. “It helps the parents a little bit. Sometimes you need that break after getting off of work, and you can take the kids to the park and let them play.”
Milito said it takes about $9,000 for the city to keep the park open during the summer.
Downard said the event raised $4,000 at the gate last year. The Arnold Lions Club donated $2,000 and the rest of the money came from other donations.
The mayor said Rockin' Roosevelt is a city treasure in its own right.
“It's great for everybody,” he said. “It gets the community out and brings them together.
“For too long, people have closed their doors, their eyes and their minds to what's going on in our neighborhoods.”
Downard said he hopes people make Rockin' Roosevelt a family event.
“What we love to see is families coming and putting blankets down and staying to enjoy everything,” he said.
“We want everyone to have fun and help the park.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Police: Woman thwarted abduction at Buffalo Township convenience store
- 2 arrested in drug raid at Arnold home
- Pittsburgh Street in Springdale closed until Monday
- Driver leaps from sliding truck just before it topples down hillside in Fawn
- Rep. Dermody calls state deficit top priority
- EPA urges further review of nuclear waste dump in Parks Township
- Parents alerted to luring attempt of fourth-grade girl in Springdale
- Arnold officer injured in attempt to detain suspect
- Gunman sought in gas station robberies in Jefferson, Buffalo townships
- Residents opposed to drilling, Consol subsidiary make cases in Allegheny Township
- Army Corps of Engineers asks for more input on Parks Township nuclear dump plans