The fifth annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade caps a weekend of celebrations of Irish heritage Sunday.
It’s the kind of tradition that’s become something of a Celtic-cottage industry in itself: an event heralded by a full slate of fundraisers, competitions (essays, posters, soda bread), corned beef ‘n cabbage dinners, Irish seisuns, and even a “green tree lighting” ceremony that would give pause to Mr. Claus. All very appropriate to a ritual that’s been part of the fabric of local life for all of… four years.
Wait, what? While it’s true that the Rumson St. Patricks Day Parade is still in short pants, the annual occurrence has quickly assumed a pivotal place of prominence in community life. And when it returns for a fifth edition this Sunday, it will have cemented its staying power in the hearts of the Greater Red Bank Green, even as those minty Shamrock Shakes come and go.
Bon Jovi guitarist and Jersey Shore music legend Bobby Bandiera (center) joined students Anthony Flora, Kyle Ward, Max Kyrillos, Glen Wise, James Ruggiero and Dillon Butler during the recent Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert at Rumson Country Day School.
Press release from Rumson Country Day School
The afternoon of Sunday, April 27 was a warm and sunny spring day, but The Rumson Country Day School was also turning up the heat in the Blake Gymnasium, where 250 people assembled for a benefit rock concert. The student-driven benefit was the brainchild of RCDS eighth grader Max Kyrillos, who got the idea from the 12-12-12 relief concert in New York City. Together with a group of fellow RCDS classmates, the student volunteers planned the Students Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert, organizing everything from concessions to crowd control, and raised more than $9,000.
Net proceeds will help the Sandy Ground Project to build 26 new playgrounds that are a living memorial to each victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Karen and Joe Burke from the Where Angels Play Foundation were at the event, as well as Mark Jones, Vice President of External Affairs for JCP&L, who presented a check for $1,500. Alumni parent, J. Robert Small, parent of Elizabeth Small ’12, generously offered a matching challenge grant of up to $1,000. Mr. Small started Helping Highlands Survivors, a charity organization that has worked closely with The Sandy Ground Project to raise funds for the Daniel Barden Playground in the Highlands.
Bobby Bandiera of Bon Jovi fame made a special appearance and gave the teen musicians the thrill of playing with a famous rock musician for a great cause. The noted guitarist was also part of another legendary New Jersey band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The concert also featured two local teen bands including Max’s band, The Stone Bullets, and Ardvark Smile, a popular local band from Middletown and the musical duo of RCDS teacher Tom Scott and RCDS security officer Tom Mancuso.