GFW 2010: Thank You

This year’s benefit was a wonderful experience. Maxwell’s in Hoboken was abuzz with good will and great music for our Global Fund for Women Benefit.

April 8, 2010: Maxwell’s (1039 Washington St, Hoboken) was abuzz with good will and great music for the second annual Global Fund for Women Benefit. This night was way more than just another gig. Oh sure, the music was top-notch, but clear in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts was our beneficiary; Global Fund for Women.

By the end of the night, we had raised $500 and few days later we’d find out from Jenifer Wanous (Development Officer for Special Events) that the money would be going to several projects such as in Colombia where a city of women was created to protect them against the warlords.

In her email, Jenifer expressed the group’s gratitude for our help.

“Thank you all for the important role you played in making Nelson’s birthday benefit a success! Your support and solidarity for women’s human rights is deeply appreciated.”

Oh, did I mention this was also organizer Nelson Pla’s birthday party?

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While the knowledge of our good deeds would have been satisfying enough, there was of course great music. This year, as last year, Nelson’s concept was that this night be a rockin’ party for a cause. And it was. Talented musicians gathered and I even got to play host (a game I’m learning to like more and more).

I have to admit, I was nervous. Oh sure, I’ve hosted other events before, but this was different. Being for a good cause, I wanted to act more dignified than normal. Which means, I did not drink. Not at least until the final notes were played and thank yous were made.

In the past, I’ve found that a certain dosage of whiskey and beer actually helped lube my creative gears. Then again, that was me playing guitar in front of other drunks where an f-bomb here and slurred political incorrectness there was not only acceptable, but expected. I did not want to be that guy this night.

The parade of seltzer in tall plastic cups helped matters. So instead of a bumbling idiot, I was more of a jittery talk-show host. Dignified but a touch off kilter.

Photographer Laura Desantis-Olsson was a kindred spirit in my temporary sobriety. She understood the need for control as she documented the night (check out the photos here). She also understood the need for a shot of whiskey when we both came ‘off duty’ and met over at the bar.

I have to thank the performers who made this event a happening:

Julian Peterson whose brand of old-school blues and soul kicked off the night. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a young man whose fire and passion go far beyond his years.

The clueLess All Stars headed by brothers Nelson and Joe Pla ripped thru a fiery set of classics. Most of the tunes were paying tribute to the Beatles’ Revolver. Joining them was a cavalcade of fine local talent. Despite some last minute no-shows due to schedule changes, the set rocked.

All-Star Jam Band included the talents of:

Infernophonic were to bring their powerful funk rock to the stage when bad news came my way. Guitarist Pat Piegari had gotten called away on business literally thirty minutes prior to their set. Despite all efforts, there was just no time to get them on for their set.

It’s a real shame because they are one of my favorite bands. I was really looking forward to hearing them play. Their being there was still a positive for the night. Not only did vocalist Elaine Tuttle get to sing with the clueLess All Stars, bassist Kevin Bolembach supplied much of the amplification for the evening. And for that, we are forever grateful.

Thanks to all of our sponsors who helped to spread the word and make this night happen. Their promotional assistance was invaluable.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our PSA videos.

See the full list of sponsors
Watch all of the PSA videos

Thanks to Todd and everyone at Maxwell’s for being just plain awesome. There is a reason why this place has survived for over thirty years in a market where nothing survives that long. Great food, great drinks and great music only go so far. It’s also the great people.

Thanks to Jim Testa for his review of the show on

Of course, thanks to Nelson Pla for conceiving all of this.

And finally thanks to everyone who came out. Without your support, this could never have happened. See you all next year!!


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