After a one-year hiatus away from the stage, the musicians of Wilton Rocks for Food will once again perform in front of a live audience, as the 2021 show has been officially set for Dec. 4, 2021. In a changeup from past concerts, this year’s event will be held at the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk.
Founder of Wilton Rocks for Food, Andy Schlesinger, explained how he expects the impact of the fundraiser, which supports the Connecticut Food Bank and the Wilton Food Pantry, will be greater than ever before due to the venue change.
With a capacity of 600, the Wall Street Theater allows twice the number of audience members than the space for the show’s first five years, Trackside Teen Center.
“The potential is there to raise quite a bit more money for the charities, which is the ultimate goal of this event,” Schlesinger said, adding, “We would love to have kept it in Wilton if we could have but financially it didn’t make much sense to do that considering the opportunities that are available to us at a place like the Wall Street Theater.”
Guests will be able to purchase general admission tickets in October when they go on sale. Schlesinger has not yet finalized the minimum donation amount he will ask for. Last year’s donation ask was $150.
Already, however, box seats are also available for private groups or corporate sponsors to purchase. Each box costs $10,000 and will hold about seven seats. As of Friday, June 18, only two sets of box seats were still available for purchase.
Even though the pandemic prevented an in-person event from taking place in 2020, Wilton Rocks for Food was still able to fundraise $70,000 last year for families in need.
Schlesinger stressed that 100% of the proceeds are split between the charities. He pays for all of the event’s cash expenses out of pocket, “so people know that their money is being put to good use,” he said.
“We live in one of the richest parts of the country and right next to us are people that don’t have food on the table and I think it’s outrageous. I think that people that are fortunate enough to not have to worry about that have an obligation to help people who do.”
Schlesinger has set the fundraising goal at $150,00 this year, but the amount of money raised each year depends heavily on corporate sponsorship.
To support Wilton Rocks for Food, Schelinger encourages Wilton businesses to sponsor the event or donate to the silent auction.
In past years, Schlesinger has had trouble proving to corporations that Wilton Rocks for Food was a legitimate charity. Thanks to its new 501(c)(3) status, corporations and donors can place their full trust in this as a charitable organization.
Around 30 musicians perform at the concert each year. Schlesinger said he is always looking for new Wilton-based musicians to join them on the stage.