In an effort to bring a little holiday cheer to a small central Pennsylvania town, a group of punk rockers did the most metal thing they could think of: hosted a Toys for Tots benefit featuring talent from across the state--and it went better than anyone could have imagined with an estimated 110 in attendance and over 207 toys and $400 donated in total.
"I’m very happy for the support and donations," said event organizer, venue owner and fellow punk-music lover/singer, Michael Davis, 50, of Asheville, Pennsylvania, in my exclusive interview with him.
"We beat our goals from last year," Davis noted, furthering that last year's event brought in 105 toys and $450 cash.
This second annual all-ages event took place over the weekend on Saturday, December 3 at Davis' venue the Root-Hovett Hall in Patton, Pennsylvania. Featured acts included music performances by Paperback Tragedy, Bad Luck Lover Boys, Abstentious, Deny Your Maker/Negan, The Filthy Lowdown, Electric Swamp Treaties and The Snipped.
Davis, who is himself a father, required that lieu of paying for admission guests were to bring at least one toy or monetary donation.
The Saturday night headliner was The Filthy Lowdown, a quintet that traveled over two hours away from their hometown in Pittsburgh just for the benefit.
"We love playing charity events. It doesn't matter how far we have to travel or if it's right in our backyard, we just like to help people in need," said the Lowdown's singer who, for work-related reasons, told me he prefers to be known by his stage name, "Abe like Lincoln."
"There is nothing better than touching the heart strings of someone that is down on their luck, a child that needs toys for the holidays, or a charity helping with feminine products. It's why we do what we do. It's the community in the music and in humanity."
Charity events are nothing new for these punks. The Lowdown's bassist, Chuck Kowalski, annually hosts "Chuck-A-Palooza" or "Chucktoberfest" in Pittsburgh to help a local food bank.
"We don't want praise for this we just like helping people. I wish we could do more," Abe stated.
Davis says the toys will be taken to the center to be donated this week and he is already looking forward to next year's benefit.
UPDATE: The toys were donated December 8, 2022.