Band Together

by Anya Uppal

The Community House’s annual Band Together event will be held on Feb. 11 from 6:30 to 11 p.m.

Band Together benefits the organization’s Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program, which provides support and educational resources for children and families living in this low-income neighborhood in unincorporated Willowbrook. Many families living in the Willowbrook Corner neighborhood live below the poverty line, contributing to challenges that include gaps in academic achievement.

Band Together has been an ongoing event for the past five years, and it includes live music from bands, drinks, food, dancing and a raffle.

“Community House has supported this program for a long time—about 20 years—, but it was only recently that they needed to raise additional money to fund it,” said Alyssa Guido, co-leader of the host committee for Band Together. “The volunteers at The Community House were the ones to come up with a fundraiser.”

The goals of the Willowbrook Corner program are to help families and their children improve their educational performance, practice positive decision-making skills in a supportive environment, and provide learning opportunities year-round.

“This event provides a sense of community and everyone coming together for a good cause,” said Trayce Biancalana, co-leader of the host committee for Band Together. ... “The first year, I didn’t even know who the band was, and there were probably 75 people that attended the event. Then, we grew the event, and we branched out, and our highest number of attendees is 320.”

“The event itself keeps getting better, and [we] are able to focus on improvements,” Guido said. “Each year, we took a new piece of the event, and stepped it up.”

Since the first event, more than 5,000 children have benefited from the learning program, and The Community House reports that children are showing improvements in academics and lifeskills.

“Band Together is a great time to see some good music, see some friends,” Biancalana said, “and support a good cause.”

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