This year’s Mardi Gras for a Cause to help support Backpack Snack Attack could not be held on its traditional “Fat Tuesday’’ date before Ash Wednesday or at the usual locations due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead, the Mardi Gras Planning Committee changed the format and location. And the ninth annual Mardi Gras for a Cause celebration, held on June 13, was transformed into a Music Festival, hosted by Blue Arrow Farm in Pine Island.
Nevertheless, the annual event was successful beyond expectations.
More than 1,185 participants joined an afternoon of live music and fun for all ages and $14,477.26 was raised for Backpack Snack Attack to date.
What a village can do
“It really does take a village to organize, implement and support an initiative like Mardi Gras for a Cause,” said Mardi Gras impresario and Backpack Snack Attack volunteer John Desibia. “And the Village of Warwick, the Town of Warwick and neighboring communities have been very supportive.
“Special shout outs of heartfelt thanks are necessary to acknowledge all four acts/bands, who donated their time and talents including Emish, OC5, Dark Horses and Uncle Shoehorn, involving 25 performers, and to sound man extraordinaire Bob Keegan, and to our event host Don Oriolo, owner of/Blue Arrow Farm and the farm staff,” Desibia added, “with a special shout out to Tina Marie Guerara and Kathy Olinger for all of the detailed site planning and to all 18 great and giving day of event volunteers.”
Desibia also expressed kudos for the Mardi Gras Planning Committee and volunteers including Mary Lantiegne Schweitzer, the event webmaster and social media guru for her outstanding job ensuring the event’s success.
Backpack Snack Attack is an outreach program of the Warwick Reformed Church that provides food on weekends and in the summer to nearly 300 children within the Florida, Greenwood Lake and Warwick school districts.
“We are so fortunate,” said Executive Director Jenna Price. “And because of the support of the community we never had to turn away any family or child needing the support of our program services.”