It’s more than just a benefit show. It’s a communal effort and celebration.
The Midtown Pickers will host the third annual Summer Nights Party on June 9, with 100 percent of proceeds from a silent auction going to Hospice Savannah. They’ve joined forces with Johnny Baker and Paula Letcher, owners of bar.food, coffee. deli. and mani.pedi in Habersham Village Shopping Center. The event will use all three locations.
A few years ago, the Midtown Pickers, a group of local musicians who use coffee.deli as a jam room each week, lost a couple of their own when Ace Harris and Susan Sheard passed away. Hospice Savannah, a nonprofit, made the transition easy for the two and so a benefit was crafted to give back to the organization.
“We’re just a grassroots group of local musicians who like to get together for an informal jam session,” said Tommy Holland, Midtown Pickers founder. “Many of us have been friends since forever, and we all feel like family. Both Susan and Ace were very special members of our musical family, and we lost both of them recently.
"We thought this would be a nice way to remember them and give back to the organization that helped them pass with dignity and in peace. We hope everyone will come out and recognize the important work of Hospice Savannah Inc.”
Since 2013, the Midtown Pickers have called coffee.deli home on Wednesday nights. For this fundraiser, the musicians will be singing in bar.food and mani.pedi, while the auction will take place in coffee.deli. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.
The first year of the benefit, the organization raised about $8,000 for Hospice Savannah. Last year they edged over $9,000, and this year's mark is $10,000-plus.
“We are planning a tremendous evening of great music, food and fun,” added Holland. “I hope everyone who has supported our music will turn out to help us thank them as well as to support Hospice Savannah Inc. It will be the best time you ever had for a worthy cause.”
The Midtown Pickers consistent of a wide array of musicians, from beginners to professionals, playing mostly covers of anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to the Beatles. Singer/songwriter Jan Spillane has been a part of the group for a number of years and has grown as a musician since joining.
“Anybody is allowed to come in, sit down and play,” Spillane said. “I was doing all original when I started there. They make you want to learn cover tunes. I used to play cover tunes a long time ago. I stopped for about 20 years. There are a lot of singer/songwriters in there as well. We always have a good time.”