To the editor:
Music links our body, mind and spirit empowering us to transcend the troubles of daily life. While each individual musical experience is unique, music penetrates our differences and, if we allow it to touch us deeply, helps us feel our shared humanity.
Everyone at Celebrate Gloucester tasted that feeling on Sunday, as we witnessed the power of music to bind us together and build community.
Vickie and I are deeply grateful to everyone who helped bring Celebrate Gloucester to life. It was truly a community event — local talent, local food, local charities, local sponsors, local volunteers — and a mostly local audience.
Simply put, Celebrate Gloucester would not have been possible without all of you.
There is not enough space here to thank everyone who deserves it, so I'll limit the individual names to a few. But thank you to:
Mayor Kirk for having the vision, guts and will to restore 65 Rogers St. to productive use — and for dancing.
The City Council, for sharing the mayor's vision and appropriating the funds to make it a reality.
Sefatia Romeo Theken for coming early, staying late and helping everyone feel welcome.
Police Lt. Aiello for knowing and providing exactly what was needed to keep us safe Mark Cole and his crew for their flexibility and willingness to do what ever was needed to prepare the site and city for this historic event.
Rose LoPiccolo for ensuring we were equipped to keep the site clean and encourage recycling.
Ringo Tarr for his continuing unselfish support, generous donation of his time and considerable talents including building the stage, wiring the event — and let's not forget his Mary Poppins truck, out of which we grabbed every little thing you need for an event.
Rick Moore, Russell Hobbs and Ed Collard (the "can't say no" core) who planned, built and struck the venue — leaving it cleaner than we found it.
Donna Ardizzoni (another "can't say no" core member) for recruiting and organizing all the volunteers.
All the volunteers, who missed a family cookout, schooner win, or Sox loss — you know who you are.
Steve Bradley for organizing and managing the Beer and Wine sales.
The 23 nominated charities for helping to make our city a better place.
Our many sponsors, who make it possible for more of the proceeds to support the charities.
The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, for helping to promote the event and for selling advanced tickets.
The Liquor Locker and Atlantis Oceanfront Inn for selling advance tickets.
Will Hunt for treating us to clear, full sound all night long.
Walter Peckham for making sure all of us were on stage at the right time.
Joey Ciaramitaro for his tremendous energy, continued blog posts and inspiring love of Gloucester that shone through his MC duties.
The Gloucester Daily Times for its tremendous support, enthusiasm and coverage — especially Ray Lamont for sharing his deep knowledge and appreciation of music, and for recognizing the power of music to bring people together and build community.
The artists who proved us right with their stellar performances.
Thank you all.
PETER VAN NESS