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Northeast News

Deacon Blues Band plays for troops and their families

BY BRAD STAGER
Special Correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: April 18, 2014 at 09:30 AM

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NEW TAMPA – When The Deacon Blues Band takes the stage, quite often it's to generate support for a local cause.

That's the case when they perform April 26 at one of New Tampa's popular venues, The Palms at Peabody's. According to event organizers, proceeds from the event will be given to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which will award the funds to the Fisher House Foundation.

“I reached out to the Fisher House in Tampa, but they are undergoing a major renovation. They couldn't be part of our event,” said Bernie Desrosiers, who plays keyboards for the band. “I am working with the Gary Sinise Foundation to make sure that the funds be used for the Tampa Fisher House.”

The Gary Sinise Foundation partners with local groups that host fundraising events for charities and nonprofit organizations such as the Fisher House Foundation.

Actor Gary Sinise, who played army Lt. Dan Taylor in the film “Forrest Gump,” began his foundation to support a variety of causes, many of them related to military service members, veterans and their families. He also tours with his own musical group, The Lt. Dan Band, to raise money for charitable projects such as Building for America's Bravest, a program that builds custom smart homes for severely wounded veterans, including one that was completed in Tampa.

The Fisher House in Tampa provides free housing for families of service members and veterans receiving treatment at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, many of them casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There are 62 Fisher Houses located at VA medical centers and military bases.

The Deacon Blues Band has a reputation for dedicating its performances toward improving the lives of others. Since forming in 1998 the band has expanded its musical repertoire from a rhythm-and-blues heavy catalog of cover tunes to just about any style produced from the 1940s to contemporary hits, and it has raised money in support of relief for Haiti after its last major earthquake, diabetes and cancer research efforts, homeless shelters and programs that support first responders and their families.

“We normally get a dozen or so requests per year to do fundraisers,” said Desrosiers. “The Gary Sinise Foundation is one of the best and we have the ability to see the results of our actions on a local level.”

Doors for the April 26 show at the Palms at Peabody's open at 8 p.m. There is a suggested $5 donation. An auction including military collectibles will also be held. Peabody's is at 15333 Amberly Drive, in The Shoppes of Amberly shopping center in Tampa Palms.

For information contact Bernie Desrosiers at (813) 361-2808 or visit the band's website.

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