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September 15, 2011

Goodnight, Irene: GPN Announce Flood Relief Benefit

Noise1-1_GracePotterAmid the wave of post-Irene benefit shows popping up at venues all over the state in recent weeks, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals have been curiously quiet. A few rumors have made the rounds concerning an impending GPN benny, but until today, nothing had officially been announced.

Well, this just in: Grace and her merry band of Nocturnals will rock the Flynn MainStage in Burlington on Sunday, October 9, with a benefit they've dubbed "Goodnight Irene." There will also be a silent auction that evening at the BCA Center. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 20, at 10 a.m. And if recent ticket-related events are any indication, that means the queue for tix should start forming outside the Flynn box office on Main Street at roughly 9 a.m. on Monday, Septermber 19.

Anyway, here's the official release:

"On Sunday, October 9, during Columbus Day weekend, Vermont-based Grace Potter & the Nocturnals will return to Burlington, where in mid-August they drew 7000 people to their inaugural outdoor festival, Grand Point North, on the banks of Lake Champlain. But this time they’re driven by a far more serious purpose. They’ve put their heads — and hearts — together and organized a concert to raise money to go directly to Vermont businesses, farms and families devastated by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Irene. GPN will headline a benefit at the historic Flynn [Center for the Performing Arts], marking their first-ever performance at the venue, supported by special guests to be announced. 

"Their goal for this special event, which they’ve dubbed 'Goodnight Irene: Flood Relief Benefit,' is $100,000, and they’re hoping to exceed that amount, aided by the traditional lure of Vermont’s breathtaking natural beauty. The show will take place just as the state’s foliage explodes into brilliant autumnal colors, thus doubling the appeal of a glorious fall weekend in this picturesque town of 40,000… 

"In addition, that same night there will be a silent auction at Burlington City Arts from 5-8 p.m. Auction items to be announced, but some big names from Burlington’s art community and beyond will donate.

"All profits from both events will be donated to several Vermont charities including the Mad River Valley Community Fund.

"Grace was born and raised in the rustic village of Waitsfield, one of the areas hit hard by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Irene in late August. 'This is one of the biggest disasters to hit Vermont in a century,' she says. 'Vermonters are good at being prepared, but they weren’t prepared for this, and the devastation was massive. I live in the Mad River Valley, which is seven towns, and every one of them felt the effects in a big way, from losing bridges to roads being washed out to entire businesses being swept away. We were lucky enough not to lose our covered bridge in Waitsfield, which is a local landmark, but the historic Bridge Street was completely flooded, and some of my favorite businesses and restaurants were underwater. But the response to help those in need has been really gratifying.

"While Grace was reaching out to her fellow musicians, they were also reaching out to her by phone and email, further strengthening her resolve. So she immediately decided to head back home with her band and do her part to help her friends and neighbors. 'We immediately started brainstorming to figure out how we could most effectively raise money and awareness,' Grace says. 'I want to make sure the money raised goes directly to the restoration of the most devastated businesses, farms and families in Vermont.'

“'Vermont has defined who we are as musicians, as business people, and as human beings,' she explains. 'It’s a place where people go when they need to get back in touch with some piece of themselves that perhaps they lost touch with in a big city. It’s place of peace and humility; it represents our humble beginnings and our humble ends. This is the place we call home. So, to get a message on my phone telling me that I can’t get to the place where I live — that really tore me apart. I can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to get home. That’s where my heart is.'"

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals play at the Flynn MainStage in Burlington on October 9 at 7 p.m.; doors 6:15 p.m. All ages. Gold Circle (includes meet-and-greet and cocktail reception), $250. $50 reserved floor; $30 balcony. or 86-FLYNN

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Grace Potter Solo Performance
Special Valley Flood-Relief Benefit

Dear Friends of the Mad River Valley,

I am happy to report that almost 90% of our Irene-damaged state roads are now repaired, so travel throughout Vermont is getting back to normal. Our own repairs to the Mad River snowmaking pond are proceeding well. At Sugarbush, all activities are fully operational. Flatbread is back open, and The Pitcher Inn hopes to reopen this weekend for inn guests. However. there is still much to do. So many of our locally-owned businesses and historic buildings were hit hard. Many farmers lost their harvest and much of their good soil. Numerous people suffered enormous damage to their homes.

Many of you have asked what is the best way to help the Irene flood victims here in our Valley.

Over the past three weeks, it has been amazing to watch neighbors helping neighbors by cleaning up, donating food, clothing or furniture, and also by contributing to the Mad River Valley Community Fund. The fund has already started distributing funds to individuals, small business owners and farmers who were devastated by the flood. However, the needs are great and are in excess of the funds currently in the Community Fund.

So Grace Potter has caringly agreed to donate her talent and her time for a benefit brunch concert here at Sugarbush the morning of Columbus Day, Monday, October 10th. This will be "an intimate solo acoustical performance" in the Gate House and limited to a couple hundred people. Through Grace's generosity, we are hoping to raise at least $250,000 for Mad River Valley Community Fund flood relief. Tickets are priced at $1,000 and we are seeking sponsorships up to $25,000 for a table of ten. Already, we have three major sponsors and total pledges in excess of $100,000. Additionally, Lili and I have donated $100,000 to the fund to show our support of their efforts.

I hope that many of you will join us in supporting the Mad River Valley Community Fund and helping to get everyone in our beautiful Valley back on their feet.

Most people know Grace Potter or have heard her amazing music. She was born in the Valley and is the daughter of two very talented parents, Sparky and Peggy. Sparky has produced much of the unique artistic signage around the resort and also painted murals in The Schoolhouse. Peggy's beautiful wooden bowls, which have been sold for years at the Farmer's Market, are probably on many of your tables.

If you haven't heard Grace sing, you have been missing something. She is truly a talented artist. With her band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, she has become an important player in the world of music. Last year, their album reached #5 on iTunes Top 100.

Additional information on the Grace Potter solo concert at Sugarbush will be available on our website soon. If you want to reserve a spot or a sponsorship, please email my assistant, Susan Hemmeter, at [email protected] or phone her at 802-583-6360. I promise that you will thoroughly enjoy this special performance while contributing much-needed cash to a charity that is dedicated to helping people right here in the Valley get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Win Smith
President, Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort | 1840 Sugarbush Access Rd. | Warren, VT 05674 | (800) 53-SUGAR |

Sugarbush Resort | 1840 Sugarbush Access Road | Warren | VT | 05674

Hopefully Lauren Ober will write a preview.

Thank you Grace and thank you to the Nocturnals. Its wonderful to see the true spirit of Vermont running strong in your heart.

Thank you Seven Days if Lauren's preview is her Vermont swan song.

Thank you Hackie for being the last good reason to read that rag.

Interesting article for VTer's in the BFP today. A bill granting disaster relief for Vermont was voted down in the house. Surprisingly, this was due to House Democrats, along with the extremist Tea Partiers.

Not sure what's more surprising, Tea Partiers and Dems voting together, or that the Dems turned their backs on such a good card carrying state.

Maybe it's payback for Howard Dean and saddling them with Bernie Sanders for a decade...

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