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The power of one determined man who wanted to do GOOD just showed all of Wilton how it’s done, with the help of a huge number of Wiltonians.

Andy Schlesinger came up with the idea for a fundraiser back in September when he thought there was a lot of complaining on social media. He was determined to show how easy it is to make an impact and do something positive rather than putting energy into the negative. Boy did he succeed this past Saturday night, Dec. 5.

More than 175 people turned out to Trackside Teen Center for “The First Waltz:  Wilton Rocks for Food,” to hear Wilton residents who volunteered to play, sing, jam and show off their musical talents. The money raised benefitted the Wilton Food Pantry and the CT Food Bank, to the tune of $26,000.

Schlesinger himself posted something on Facebook as a thank you to all those who took part and helped out; we’ve reprinted it with his permission. Perhaps the best line in it mentions “The Second Waltz.” Looks like Wilton has found another incredibly GOOD tradition by which to help others.

‘The First Waltz’ Thank You, from Andy Schlesinger

And it’s over. Between ticket sales, private donations and the silent auction, Wilton Rocks for Food raised $26,000. Of that $26,000, exactly $26,000 will be donated to the CT Food Bank and the Wilton Food Pantry, as private sponsors covered all expenses for the event.

I have to say I think it was a smashing success. There were 40 songs, 19 musicians, 3 kegs, 110 bottles of wine, 175 people, 0 problems and tons of fun. I have a lot of thanks to give. Take a moment and read through them and the next time you see this person thank him or her. If you see a company’s name please consider showing it your business. See you next year at The Second Waltz.

The greatest thanks goes to Brennan Gildersleeve and Dan Berg, the house band, two of the most brilliant musicians I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Your time and dedication was incredible. Thank you.

The Brilliant Musicians:  Kelley Addison, Phil Bender, Nick Blain, Steve Cafiero, Chris Capelle, Batya Diamond, Mark Dodman, Matt Greene, Jackie Jackson, Jim Konatsotis, Gerry Lee, Patty Perry, Tom Santacroce, HG Siewert, Nicole Smirnov, Graham Sultan, and Joan Wallace.

Corporate Sponsors/Big Check Writers:  Trackside Teen Center; Andy Schlesinger and Kim Pearson; Bruce and Beth Likly, Kovak-Likly Communications; Rich Cunningham, Ed’s Garage Doors; Joel and Dawn Jasinski; Jeff Johnson and Jacqueline Bayne; Dan and Julie Wilson; Cathy Hepworth; and Rita Garland.

Silent Auction Donors:  Bragg Builders, Cactus Rose Restaurant, Clubhouse Baseball, Christine Edkins, Crate and Barrel, Gloria J. Bass, Janet Montalbano, Joyride Wilton, Kelley Addison, Larkspur Farm, Liz Hanson, Loryn Galardi, Maya Ohl Boreen, Metrofloor Corporation, The NFL, Oak and Almond Restaurant, Open House Gift Shop, The Padilla Family, Phil Garlington, Realty 7, Rita Bernstein, Southern Wine Distributors, Southern Yankee, Steeped Tea, Traveling Art Framer, Venture Photography, Village Market, Wildtree, and Wilton Hardware.

Kim Pearson for everything
All the ladies at Table 18
All the men married to the ladies at table 18
Heather Borden Herve and GOOD Morning Wilton
Wilton Bulletin
The Hour
Mark Kettler and Trackside Teen Center

Food and Alcohol Provided by Southern Wine Distributors (Thank you Gerry Lee) Portofino Restaurant, Wilton Pizza, Andy Schlesinger and Kim Pearson

Graphic Design
Posters, Fliers and T Shirt design donated by Rob Phelps Design
T Shirts printed by Royal Tees
Flier designed by Batya Diamond
Photography by Jim Boden

Last, and most important, thank you to everyone who bought a ticket, donated an item, helped with setup, and made this a success. MWAH!!