Fox Valley Musicians Rock for the Harbor House (Dec. 13-14)

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Fox Valley musician Christopher Gold started The Big Annual Dirty Rotten               Holiday Toy Drive in 2011 to benefit local children in the holiday season. 

Fox Valley Musicians Rock for the Harbor House

The Big Annual Dirty Rotten Holiday Toy Drive returns to the Fox Cities on Dec. 13 at Cold Shot in Appleton and Dec. 14 at Cranky Pat’s in Neenah.

The two-day event is a music-fueled fundraiser for the Harbor House in Appleton, a safe shelter that offers basic crisis services to women and children hurt by domestic abuse.

Christopher Gold, a solo musician and member of Fox Valley band the Dirty Rotten So and So’s, started the event in 2011 in hopes of providing a better holiday season for Fox Valley children in need.

”I originally decided to do the shows this year because I think these kids, like all kids, deserve a great Christmas,” Gold said.

“I chose the Harbor House for a lot of reasons, some personal, but one certainly was that it’s something that I wasn’t hearing a lot about. Domestic abuse is horrible and sad, but I think sometimes that keeps people from talking about it, and if you aren’t talking about it then you are going to have a hard time doing something about it.”

Last year, the event collected over 100 toys that were donated to children at the Harbor House and Gold hopes to increase the amount of toys and donations this year by, for the first time, hosting the event for two nights. Eight music acts from the genres of punk to acoustic will perform over the two-night fundraiser, including Gold.

“People are enthusiastic about helping these kids and that is really amazing to see,” Gold said. “All of the people involved from the bands to the raffle donors to the venues have bent over backwards to make it work and I’m really optimistic that this can become a real annual tradition that gets bigger every year.”

Gold and company deserve kudos for finding a positive angle with their music and using it to benefit locals in need. Perhaps their work will inspire other local musicians to use their talent for charity work as well.

“It’s really inspiring to see a bunch of tattooed punks spending their money on toys for little kids,” Gold said. “None of the people that come to the show have a ton of money, so their donation usually means a sacrifice of some kind in their personal life and that is really touching.  I added the second show this year because I wanted people outside of the punk and hardcore community to experience it too.”

— Mike Thiel: on Twitter @thielwrites

toy drive flyer

Going to the show? 
What: The Big Annual Dirty Rotten Holiday Toy Drive (Night one)
Where: Cold Shot, Appleton
When: 10 p.m., Friday Dec. 13
Lineup: Misleader, Old Nails, The DUIs and A Blue Harbor
Admission: Free with donation of a new, unwrapped toy (to be donated to the Harbor House)

What: The Big Annual Dirty Rotten Holiday Toy Drive (Night two)
Where: Cranky Pat’s, Neenah
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14
Tickets: $10 (all proceeds benefit the Harbor House)
Lineup: William Elliott Whitmore, Christopher Gold, Mark Steven Hillstrom and Rachel Hansen
Online: crankypats.com, harborhouseonline.org

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