Despite a tornado watch and thunderstorm, about 100 people came out to Thomas Sweet Cafe in Skillman on Friday, April 26. The event raised $900 for local fire companies.
"The Montgomery News wishes to thank first responders for all they do for the community," says Publisher Norman Silverstein. This first concert event is to recognize our firefighters from the Rocky Hill Fire Department; from the Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 on Griggstown Road in Belle Mead (aka Station 45); and Montgomery Township Fire Company No. 2 on Route 518 in Blawenburg (aka Station 46).
"We are especially grateful to Thomas Sweet Cafe for hosting the event, and contributing $100 toward our fundraising goal," Silverstein says. "And, we thank TOTH for making this happen, and contributing their incredible talent to this worthy cause."
Editor Barbara A. Preston adds: "The newspaper is the voice of your community, but we are also part of the community and we wish to do our part to support our local volunteers, especially our first responders. This is our first event to recognize outstanding members of our community. We will work with the Montgomery and Rocky Hill first aid squads for our next event, which we hope to stage in the near future. And we hope TOTH will be a large part of it again."
"What a great time we had at Thomas Sweet Cafe," TOTH band member Mike Vercelletto (vocals, harmonica), said after the show. "Together with The Montgomery News we brought down 100 people and raised $900 for the first responders of Montgomery and Rocky Hill! Thanks to all who braved the rain and especially to Barbara Preston for helping make this happen. And of course thanks for your service to the Rocky Hill Fire Department, Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, and Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 2, and to all who make sacrifices to volunteer for the community."
TOTH, a three-man band from Rocky Hill. Photo caption: From left, Professor G (lead guitar).; Mike Vercelletto (vocals, harmonica); and Mike Maraghy (vocals, ukulele, guitar). The band formed in 2016, and performs an eclectic mix of original songs from their favorite artists: Counting Crows, Lucero, Pearl Jam, Frank Turner, and a whole lot of Tom Petty.
TOTH played 20 songs, including two originals. "We had a blast and are so grateful for the turnout,: Vercelletto said. "Can't wait to do it again."