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Midstate Irish bands take to the stage for Hurricane Sandy victi - abc27 WHTM

Midstate Irish bands take to the stage for Hurricane Sandy victims

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The catastrophic damage from Hurricane Sandy last fall was more than fascinating video to one musical midstate family. It was a cry for help from their relatives and friends at the Jersey Shore, surviving among the rubble.

So, the Lee family of Harrisburg, comprising the Celtic band "Seasons," responded to the tragedy by organizing a benefit concert. Joining them on stage at Trinity High School were two other family-based acts: The Celtic Martins and the Rebel Heart Irish Dancers.

"Because having family down there put a personal face on the storm for us, we know how many people need help," said Peter Winter Lee. "And, also, we just wanted to have a chance to do something fun with other family bands that we've known about through doing Celtic music for so many years."

The all-star lineup featured spirited music and dance, both individually, and as a full stage ensemble, celebrating all things Irish through song, strings, drums and choreography.

Among those in the crowd was Atlantic City resident Tony Zarych. His home received mainly flood damage from Sandy, but many in his neighborhood weren't as fortunate. He was there to cheer on family members in the program and to say thanks.

"It just shows the character of my family and the people from here," said Zarych. "They are kind and generous and caring enough to want to help others in need."

Based on the crowd's enthusiastic reception, and brisk CD sales in the lobby, those involved in the concert say there's a good chance this was not a once-and-done relief effort.

"It's going to take years for people to rebuild their lives in that part of New Jersey," said Lee. "And we want to keep doing what we can to help."

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