Think of it as intermission and the band is taking a break between sets. But founder Andy Schlesinger made the tough call to cancel what would have been the sixth year for the Wilton Rocks for Food live event, another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He made the announcement on a Facebook post just yesterday.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought regarding [live-]streaming etc but came to the conclusion that bringing us all together for this incredible event is what makes it so special. No computer screen can compare…” he wrote.
The mosh-pit experience is an important part of the yearly show that features dozens of Wilton residents performing to a sold-out crowd at Trackside every December, all to raise a substantial amount for the Wilton Food Pantry and the CT Food Bank. Last year, Wilton Rocks for Food raised over $140,000, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the two organizations to fight hunger. Altogether, the effort has raised $420,000 since 2015.
“It’s so ironic right? The year when we need it the most I can’t do it,” Schlessinger told GOOD Morning Wilton.
But with the thought of so many people singing, dancing, and gathering close together (and a Health Department that would never approve a concert), the reality sunk in. “I can’t fit 300 people into Trackside in December, and I’m not interested in a live concert to 50 people spread out wearing masks,” he said.
However, that doesn’t mean Wilton Rocks’ fundraising will cease for the year. Schlesinger said there will still be efforts to raise money. The first way he’s planning to do that is very straightforward–asking people to donate cash and donate items and experiences to the silent auction, a standard feature of the live event that will now shift online.
Supporters can visit the Wilton Rocks for Food website even now to begin donating. The site is set up to accept both cash contributions as well as silent auction items. Schlesinger hopes people will be creative in what they offer: “What kind of things do we like? Gift certificates, Wine, Booze, Golf outings, Property Rentals, Artwork, Services (law, accounting, education, yoga, trainers, etc.).”
He’s still hoping to make a major contribution, setting a fundraising goal of $75,000.
Other ways people can help is by liking the Wilton Rocks Facebook page to keep up with updates or announcements, and Schlesinger says ideas or thoughts on other creative ways to help are always welcome. He can be reached via email.