LaSalle Market's Give Back Series has dedicated the last Saturday of every month to pay it forward to an individual, the community, or an organization in need.
The Give Back Series all started with two desires - a love of giving and a love of music. The last Saturday of each month used to be called "Band Night" but in November 2012, that all changed. One of LaSalles' Open-Mic musicians - Bill Benson, wanted to play with his group and call the evening "Chords for Cause." Anyone who came that night was asked to bring a non-perishable food item so it could be passed on to the Canton Food Bank. Scotty, one of the regular customers and owner of Scotty's Spirit Shop, decided he would fundraise at his place for the cause by asking for monetary donations. LaSalle Market matched those donations and over $600.00 was raised for the Canton Food Bank.
Bill and Eileen O'Connor-Kaminski, the owner of LaSalle Market & Deli, felt so good about the whole experience they decided to work together for a community event and created "The Give Back Series."
Bill re-energized his music process five years ago at Friday Open-Mic-Night, held weekly at LaSalle. He said "this venue became the launching pad where I found my comfort zone. I was surrounded by a new musical family and an audience where I felt support and appreciation." Bill contributed one of his songs to the LaSalle CD. He has now performed in different parts of CT as well as in New York. In 2012 he was the runner up in the Northwest Idol Competition and in 2013 he took the title of Northwest Idol. He feels LaSalle has impacted his personal life because of the great platform that Open-Mic-Night provides to local talent and believes it has made a positive impact on the entire community.
Bill continues to contribute by choosing an opening act for the evening, usually someone from Friday Open-Mic-Night, to preceed the headlining act. The opener plays from 7-7:30PM and the main event is from 7:30-10PM.
To make the night more special the atmosphere is transformed by overhead blue lights, an oriental carpet for the band and candles on the tables. There are special appetizers, a full menu, and a choice of having a beer, glass of wine or frozen cocktail. Since its inception the only time the Give Back Series has been cancelled has been due to the Halloween Parade or inclement weather.
HOW TO BECOME A RECIPIENT
Eileen was given a beautiful painted wooden box with a slot on the top. This box sits on the old farm table and is the place to drop in a letter. The letter explains what a person needs or what they hope can be given to someone. Once the recipient is chosen they receive a 100% of the donations collected from that evening. Eileen says "we just try to keep answering one prayer at a time, sometimes we all move too fast and need to reconnect to ourself, one another, and God. When we all work together, we can make a difference."
If you're looking for a nice local night out that helps in making someone's life a little easier, plan to come to the "Give Back Series".