Vanilla Bean to Host 28th Annual Benefit Show For Northeast Food Pantry



Vanilla Bean to Host 28th Annual Benefit Show For Northeast Food Pantry

“The Red Hot Banjo Wizard”, Howie Bursen joined by John Bailey, Martin Grosswendt, and Bennett Hammond return to the Vanilla Bean Café, located at 450 Deerfield Road in Pomfret on Saturday, January 25th for their twenty-eighth year performing to benefit Access’s Northeast Connecticut Food Pantries. This local tradition is an evening of singing, laughter, hot licks on guitar, fiddle and banjo, wonderful desserts, and beverages ranging from cappuccinos to fine wines. The Vanilla Bean is a great place to shake off the winter blahs, and will have music that will lift your spirits. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $20.

Howie Bursen, who has coordinated and performed this event for 28 years, will also be joined by John Bailey, “Guitarrista Extraordinaire”, Martin Grosswendt “Zen Master” and Bennett Hammond, a new face that, “…will knock your socks off with his innovative guitar and banjo styles,” says Howie. Baily and Grosswendt have also performed with Howie for 28 years for the Northeast Benefit Concert and are guaranteed to entertain the audience. The group welcomes Sally Rogers and Lorraine Hammond to the band.


“We like to think globally and locally and this is our way of giving back… we ‘Pomfretutians’ are mighty lucky to have these three making music in our midst,” says Howie. “We hold this event to raise money for our Northeast Connecticut Emergency Food pantries at Access. Access helps to feed our neighbors who don’t have enough money to buy food for themselves – or for their children … the Food Bank can make the difference between hunger and health,” says Howie. All proceeds from this concert will be used to buy food from the Connecticut Food Bank. Each $1 donated is used by the Access Community Action Agency to buy more than $10 worth of food from the CT Food Bank for distribution to those in need throughout northeast CT. Last year the concert raised over $1,000.

The Access Community Action Agency is designated by the federal and state government as the anti-poverty agency in northeast Connecticut.  Access provides food, affordable housing, job readiness services, and other pathways to economic self-reliance for vulnerable limited-income families and individuals throughout the region.

For more information about the services Access provides, visit us on the web at; or call (860) 450-7400 in the Willimantic area or (860) 412-1600 In the Danielson area.


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