Local talent was not the only item showcased at Haddonfield's Help & Hope A Concert on Sunday afternoon. The new sound system at the high school auditorium provided the audience with a state-of-the-art concert venue.
The vocals and music came through beautifully providing a heart-warming and uplifting event to raise money for the Sandy storm relief fund established by Gov. Chris Christie and his wife.
Haddonfield is known for its community involvement and Sunday's concert was an example of how quick the Haddonfield community responds to a disaster. Hundreds of people filled the high school auditorium to support the local community's call to action to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy.
"With so many people in New Jersey affected by hurricane damage, how inspiring to see the Haddonfield community pull together to help out and produce this concert," Commissioner Jeff Kasko said. "The amount of time, effort, talent and financial resources donated to this effort is amazing and is a wonderful example of what can be done when people care and work together to make a difference. This was a great event for a great cause. Thanks to everyone involved."
Most individuals in attendance on Sunday knew someone who was affected by the wrath of Superstorm Sandy. Jill Horner, guest host of Sunday's concert, TV personality and a former Miss New Jersey, spoke passionately about the state she represented in 2000. "I saw the devastation. After visiting every inch of this state during my reign as Miss New Jersey, I know how much the state has suffered after the hurricane. I will do everything I can to help."
For most performers, this was the first time they stood back on the stage where they started to hone their craft since graduating from high school. Scott Glading, the artistic director at Haddonfield Memorial High School, became emotional when two of his former students were back on stage. Stephanie Melzi, a mezzo-soprano opera singer, and Abigail Sparrow, who studied theater and film acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, entered the stage with Glading for a photo op.
Doug Knight and Franny Smith entertained the audience with the song "On the Way to Cape May" as an ode to the shore that we love, while others sang moving songs filled with hope. Haddonfield schools Superintendent Richard Perry said, "This is fantastic that the community can come together like this. I'm amazed at the amount of talent within the community." Perry also commended Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor; Glading; and Jill Horner for their efforts putting this together in such a short amount of time.
At the end of the concert, Colombi shared a group hug with Denise Coffey Stuart and Scott Glading as they celebrated their efforts pulling local talent together to make Sunday's concert happen.
"$5,000 is fantastic—it shows real heart of how our borough comes together with talent to help ease the pain from the hurricane," Colombi said.
The money will go to the hurricane relief fund established by governor and first lady christie.