April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 62 F

Unity Bands to Host Reggae Night Fundraiser at Mother’s Peninsula Grille

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, a local nonprofit is stepping up to help healthcare heroes in need. Unity Bands will host a reggae night fundraiser at Mother’s Peninsula Grille in Arnold, MD, on Thursday, August 25, from 6-9 PM, with delicious food and games. This event, sponsored by Port Tack Ltd Wines and Spirits, will feature live music will be provided by High Energy Group of Fairfax, VA. Details on the event can be found at unitybands.org

This Arnold-based nonprofit is building a movement to support COVID-19 healthcare heroes, including mental health and resiliency efforts. Through fundraising efforts such as restaurant givebacks, a minor league baseball giveaway, and the sale of branded merchandise, the Unity Bands community donated over $14,000 to COVID-19 foundations in three states, including Baltimore Washington Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Donations contributed to frontline resiliency efforts, feeding the frontlines, COVID-19 kits, and virus research.

“There will be a long and nasty tail associated with this pandemic,” Unity Bands founder John Schirrippa admits. According to a Mental Health America survey, 63% of the frontline workers surveyed reported feeling work-related dread. One of the major causes of the drop in the mental health of frontline workers was worry over getting infected themselves or the risk of infecting loved ones. “They experienced horrors, particularly in the first year. They need our support as they continue to fight,” Schirrippa said.

Unity Bands’ key values are hope, fight, and unity. “The world is a vastly different place than when we launched in December 2020,” Schirrippa explains. “And even though things are better, there is always room for hope, and hope will get us through to the other side.” The idea for Unity Bands came to Schirrippa in March 2020 as stay-at-home orders were enacted across the country. Mr. Schirrippa is a Defense Department civilian and active member of the Annapolis-Anne Arundel County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), holding an M.S. degree in Emergency Services Management. Schirrippa’s cousin and renowned chef, Peter Caserta, passed away from COVID-19 in January 2021. The nonprofit founder and president vowed to continue the Unity Bands effort in his cousin’s honor.

Unity Bands achieved the designation 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in January 2022, paving the way for future partnerships and increased impact. “Our supporters have stepped up in amazing ways to support the frontlines. And this is just the beginning,” Schirrippa declares. Unity Bands operates with all volunteers, including interns from Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and NYU. The group hosted a float during the Severna Park Independence Day parade featuring Louie of the Bowie Baysox and a local musician, Steve Boucher, to raise awareness for the cause.

Previous Article

Ray Crosby Named “Influential Marylander” by The Daily Record

Next Article

Sentimental Journeys and Department of Aging Team Up

You might be interested in …