Courtesy of Perpetual Care
Perpetual Care is one of the acts playing for Savannah's "Rockin' for the Vets" concert on Jan. 30.
Members of the U.S. military overcome all kinds of challenges to carry out their missions – and during Savannah’s fifth-annual “Rockin’ for the Vets” concert, several local bands will follow the example of American soldiers to hold a fundraising event benefitting area veterans while striving to stay safe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Jan. 30, local acts Whaleboat, Ember City, Perpetual Care, Salute Your Jorts, and others will perform live at The Wormhole for this annual charity concert that will raise money for Savannah’s Tiny House Project for homeless veterans. Concert entry is free, but organizers are asking for donations at the door of money or non-perishable food items.
According to Michael Baker, bartender at The Rail Pub and a founding organizer of the concert, this year’s “Rockin’ for the Vets” show will be something of a homecoming as it will be held at its original location.
“We hosted the event at The Rail Pub the last few years, but we decided to move it back to The Wormhole this year to get back to its roots and provide an indoor venue in case of inclement weather,” Baker said.
Over the last four years, Baker and co-organizer Billie Null (a bartender at The Wormhole) have raised more than $4,000 for the Tiny House Project operated by the Chatham County Homeless Authority, providing its veteran residents with safe long-term shelter, resources, and services, along with a supportive community.
“We hope to be able to raise even more after our event this year,” said Baker.
The project hits close to home for Baker and Null, who are both Army combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It just seems like a natural fit for us,” explained Baker. “People seem to enjoy a reason to support local music while also helping out the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Speaking of vulnerable populations, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of organizers’ minds as they move forward with planning this concert while the pandemic continues through the holidays.
“COVID-19 is a big concern this year, so we are asking people to continue to wear masks and respect social distancing if they are attending the event in person,” Baker said.
This year, in light of the pandemic’s obvious challenges, they are also making accommodations for people to attend the concert virtually through Facebook Live (check back on Connect’s Facebook page to learn how to watch).
“I am working on a way to accept donations if people want to contribute while watching remotely,” explained Baker.
Baker and Null are hoping the remote option helps expand the concert’s audience for the benefit of the event’s beneficiaries, and are also offering other ways to raise money at the concert, like raffles, silent auctions and more.
“I feel that we’re a better community if we actively participate in enriching the lives of the less-fortunate, especially those who have gone through the traumas that our veterans have,” said Baker.
Savannah’s “Rockin’ for the Vets” concert is happening at The Wormhole (2307 Bull St., Savannah) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 30; attendees must be aged 18 or older. Visit wormholebar.com for more details.