Local music groups Gerry and the Dreambenders and Jake Leg have teamed up for the 5th Annual Toys for Tots Fundraiser on Friday, December 8 at the Sapphire Room. Toys for Tots is the United States Marine Corp’s project to supply disadvantaged children whose parents cannot afford toys with presents for Christmas. Boise has their own local organization, Toys for Tots Boise, that handles our local area. Toys for Tots has been an integral part of the U.S Marines since 1947.
The Toys for Tots Boise show will open with hi energy local favorites, Jake Leg. Mike Witmer, bass player for Jake Leg, said “Jake Leg is excited to be able to give back to the community by playing with Gerry and the Dreambenders to support the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program. We’ll be playing our high energy selection of danceable blues music.” If you have never seen a Jake Leg show, be prepared for great music and an exciting performance. Following Jake Leg, Gabe Dunn from Radio Boise will provide a comic interlude guaranteed to please everyone.
The Toys for Tots Boise Fundraiser is the brainchild of Mike Wallace, who fronts the headlining Gerry and the Dreambenders. Mike is very passionate about causes he believes in and said: “There are five causes that I care about and I am fortunate that the people in my band feel the same way. The five causes that matter to us are blind kids, food for people for Thanksgiving celebrations, underprivileged kids, breast cancer and veterans, especially Vietnam veterans. What we want to do, in the winter months we use the opportunity to help people. We love to play, so why not do that and help people?”
Mike added, “The Marines have been fantastic. First Sgt. Nichols is the guy who we deal with and he is just fantastic. The Sapphire Room folks are all pros, they know what it takes to put something like this on and it goes like clockwork.”
Gerry and the Dreambenders has a unique take on the music they play. As Mike said, “We bill ourselves as the Northwest’s only genuine British Invasion Rock ‘n’ Roll Tribute Band. We play music mostly from the British Invasion era—it isn’t all British bands. So in addition to the Beatles, the Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers, we do songs by the Byrds, the Lovin’ Spoonful—the American bands that seemed to be part of the British Invasion. We also creep a little out of that era, we do one Neil Young song, several Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tunes, not because they fit chronologically but because thematically the sound works.”
He described the Toys for Tots Boise show, saying “Our mission is to create for people who weren’t there, or recreate for people who were there, what it was like to go to a rock and roll show in 1965. Except for those times when we stray off the reservation a little bit! So it’s suits and ties and playing Rickenbacker guitars and Gretsch guitars and Fender guitars and Vox amplifiers. Our drummer’s got a beautiful set of Rogers drums. So we look the part; and we try to tackle songs that the rest of the bands of guys our age don’t do.” Indeed, the individual members of the band hail from all points of the compass, and have played shows with such world-renowned music heavyweights as Paul Revere & the Raiders, Steppenwolf, Merrilee & the Turnabouts, the Boxtops, the Shirelles, the Kingsmen, Uriah Heep, the Coasters, the Association, Johnny Rivers and many others.
The event promises to be a fun one with plenty of music and dancing. Of primary importance, however is the cause. By providing toys that are new and unwrapped, the Marines and Toys for Tots can help make the holidays happy for children who otherwise might not get anything. And if you would prefer, a cash donation will go a long ways too, so open your checkbook and help make Christmas a happy one for some deserving kids. You’ll feel good about it!
5th Annual Toys for Tots Boise Fundraiser
Featuring: Gerry and the Dreambenders
Friday, December 8, 2017
Doors open at 5:30pm
Admission: One brand new unopened toy or a cash donation
The Sapphire Room at The Riverside Hotel
2900 Chinden Blvd.
Boise, ID 83714