Dec. 3—Nine years ago, the local rock band The Devil & The Southern Fellowship thought it would be fun to be part of a holiday benefit show.
In the following years, Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall's "Rock 4 Tots" has become the band's most anticipated show.
"It's actually our favorite concert of the year just because we are usually getting up there and playing for us. This time, we're up there playing for a good cause," bassist Sean Selecman said.
The band will perform the show with hard rock group Amenazar at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the venue at 1918 Frederick Ave. Admission is one new, unwrapped toy or $5.
The concert uses all the money raised and donated toys and gives them to local organizations to make the holidays a little brighter for children in the area.
"It stays local. It means something to us to give back to our community, and this is the best time of the year to do it," Selecman said.
Created nine years ago by the band and Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall's Christina Grimes, the annual fundraiser has fulfilled both of their missions to rock people's faces off and help those in the area.
Selecman said he and his fellow band members Moose, Chad O'Callaghan and Everett Jonas Jr. love knowing they're doing something more than rocking out.
"We're charitable people. We like to give away, to see people get a hand up when it's needed," Selecman said. "It's that time of year where money's tight for everyone, and we're not quite in a position where we can just go out and give out a bunch of money and things like that. So we could at least donate our time and what talent we have."
While it might be easy to get cynical about the area on social media platforms, Selecman said events like this show how giving people in St. Joseph are.
"It's good to see that there's something good going on, and not just with 'Rock 4 Tots,'" he said. "There's a lot of (fundraisers), especially this time of year, where people are willing to help out people and give back and they are concerned for others. So it's kind of good to see something that's vastly different than what we are typically fed when it comes to social media"
As long as the annual concerts continue, Selecman said the band is more than happy to play.
"We're glad to keep doing it. We'll keep doing it as long as we possibly can," he said.
The event is open to everyone 21 and older.
Andrew Gaug can be reached at email@example.com.
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