The sanctuary of the Rockland Congregational Church was filled to capacity Jan. 24 as the band Steelin’ Thunder played a concert that raised $2,674 for the work of InterVol, a medical team mostly comprising graduates of the University of Notre Dame that is providing emergency relief in the earthquake-stricken island nation of Haiti.

Local doctors Kevin Olehnik, Doug Cole and Lars Ellison arrived in the Haitian city of Leogane Jan. 21. They are members of the InterVol team, which has been working for more than a decade in Leogane, about 20 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, to eradicate a disease called lymphatic filariasis.

About 220 people attended the Jan. 24 concert, according to the church’s pastor, the Rev. Seth Jones. Jones said Steelin’ Thunder rehearses at the church, and did not charge for the concert. According to a handout that was distributed at the event, band members wanted to “give back to [the band’s] Caribbean roots.”

Children danced at the front of the hall as the band played its upbeat steel drum music. Steelin’ Thunder is led by Mike Miller and performs about 20 concerts a year to benefit local music programs.

The idea for the concert came from church member Judy Waterman who organizes the Sounds of Second Sunday winter concert series at the Rockland Congregational Church.

Jones said the church community donated $1,000 from a general collection to Church World Service, an organization that is working on the ground in Haiti to provide emergency supplies to those in need.

“It’s a mess down there,” Jones said. “They need help.”

 

filed under: