Midstate Irish bands take to the stage for Hurricane Sandy victims

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The
catastrophic damage from Hurricane Sandy last fall was more than fascinating
video to one musical midstate family. It was a cry for help from their
relatives and friends at the Jersey Shore, surviving among the rubble.

So, the Lee
family of Harrisburg, comprising the Celtic band “Seasons,” responded
to the tragedy by organizing a benefit concert. Joining them on stage at
Trinity High School were two other family-based acts: The Celtic Martins and
the Rebel Heart Irish Dancers.

“Because
having family down there put a personal face on the storm for us, we know how
many people need help,” said Peter Winter Lee. “And, also, we just
wanted to have a chance to do something fun with other family bands that we've known
about through doing Celtic music for so many years.”

The all-star
lineup featured spirited music and dance, both individually, and as a full
stage ensemble, celebrating all things Irish through song, strings, drums and
choreography.

Among those
in the crowd was Atlantic City resident Tony Zarych. His home received mainly
flood damage from Sandy, but many in his neighborhood weren't as fortunate. He
was there to cheer on family members in the program and to say thanks.

“It
just shows the character of my family and the people from here,” said
Zarych. “They are kind and generous and caring enough to want to help
others in need.”

Based on the
crowd's enthusiastic reception, and brisk CD sales in the lobby, those involved
in the concert say there's a good chance this was not a once-and-done relief
effort.

“It's
going to take years for people to rebuild their lives in that part of New
Jersey,” said Lee. “And we want to keep doing what we can to
help.”

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