John Rzenik, lead singer for the Goo Goo Dolls, got creative in raising money for small businesses in New Jersey: playing a porch concert.
By: Cami Mondeaux
Westfield Mayor Shelly Brindle told CNN in an interview John Rzeznik is her neighbor — and she decided he would be the perfect performance to kick off the new “We Love Local” fundraiser.
The idea behind the “We Love Local” fundraiser is to raise money for small businesses affected by social distancing. The city organized a series of porch concerts and other events to help do this.
Brindle told CNN she texted Rzeznik if he would be interested in doing the fundraiser — and he texted back in five seconds with an excited, “Yes!”
The concert was live-streamed on Facebook Live Friday, and Brindle said people from all over the world tuned in to their small porch concert.
This launch helped raise $25,000 for local businesses — which in turn unlocked a match fun from Westfield United Fund of $15,000. Westfield United Fund is an organization created to provide monetary relief after disasters such as 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy.
Now, the town will decide how to distribute the funds among the independent businesses in the area.
Even though there aren’t specific plans right now, Brindle said everything the town does to raise money will toward these fundraising efforts. And hopefully, the porch concerts will be a regular thing.