Local charities to benefit from concert food and toy drive
By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
MELBOURNE -- The holidays are a time for dazzling lights and decorations and time spent with family and friends; the holidays are also a time for giving to those who need a helping hand.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 12, the Melbourne Municipal Band will bring the true spirit of the season -- cheer and giving -- as it presents "Candy Canes and Carols."
The two holiday concerts, hosted at the Melbourne Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., will feature toy and food collections, as well as informative displays from local charities.
There is no charge for the concert and tickets are not required. The MMB asks that guests bring a new, unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item instead.
"Collecting donations of food and toys has been a tradition for many years," said Staci Cleveland, conductor. "Having the charities come and exhibit is a new event -- an extension of our concert theme, 'Holiday Cheer in the Spirit of Giving.'"
The local charities will host exhibits in the auditorium's west wing, and guests can also enjoy a beautiful display of holiday wreaths.
"The South Brevard Sharing Center will be the recipient of the food and unwrapped toy donations," Mrs. Cleveland said.
Featuring a sing-along of favorite holiday carols, "Candy Canes and Carols" will be filled with seasonal tunes, such as "Sleigh Ride," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Three Moods of Hanukkah" and "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."
A raffle will also be held both evenings of the concert.
"A number of local businesses have donated items, from cookbooks to restaurant gift certificates and concert tickets," Mrs. Cleveland added. "We are preparing various themed baskets that will be raffled off each of the two evenings."
Swingtime Lite will provide preshow entertainment, as well.
Michael S. Hubler, executive director at the South Brevard Sharing Center is very excited for "Candy Canes and Carols."
"We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this free holiday concert, and very much appreciate the band's efforts to help bolster our food supplies, which are depleted after our 500 family Thanksgiving meal giveaway," he said. "This will also help us bring some cheer to 600 local children with a new toy for Christmas."
"The MMB members love to put on the holiday concerts. Everyone wears their holiday best, including the ladies in their glitzy finery," Mrs. Cleveland said of the upcoming shows. "There may even be a special visit from the man in red himself. Everyone can participate in our sing-along and enjoy the holiday festivities. It's the best free holiday concert in town."
The Melbourne Municipal Band will host "Candy Canes and Carols" on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Melbourne Auditorium, featuring a toy and food drive, as well as information on local charities.
The concerts are free, with no ticket required. Guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item.
The Melbourne Auditorium is located at 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 724-0555 or visit www.melbournemunicipalband.org.