DANBURY — The Hearts on Fire benefit concert featuring John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band is set for Sunday, June 30, at Ives Concert Park in Danbury. Gates will open at 3 p.m. for the 3:30 concert. The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a non-profit dedicated to social and emotional learning programs in honor of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, is inviting children to attend the family-friendly concert for free with a parent or guardian.
Also performing will be Doug Allen, a Darien native and Nashville music star, and Darien-based The Spadtastics, a Grateful Dead cover band.
Proceeds will support the Choose Love mission to create safer schools and a more peaceful world.
The Hearts on Fire benefit concert, presented by the Tapping Solution, is a celebration of what would have been Jesse’s 13th birthday. Children can enjoy a rubber duck scavenger hunt, a puppet show by Connecticut Guild of Puppetry starring Violet the Dragon, Darien High School Choose Love Club’s slime station, plus a free puppet-making craft by Sova Theatre Company.
Those attending may dine at food trucks, enjoy a slice of birthday cake and shop at vendor tables.
Headliner John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band are 80s rock legends with hits from “Eddie & The Cruisers – Motion Picture Soundtrack.”
Their song “On the Dark Side” was number one on the Billboard Rock charts and the MTV video charts for five weeks. The album sold more than 3 million copies and was certified triple Platinum by the RIAA.
John Cafferty’s solo track, “Hearts on Fire,” was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film “Rocky IV” and he received his second double Platinum soundtrack award. In 2012, the band was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.
Opening act Doug Allen is a Nashville recording artist singer/songwriter with a rich voice and tunes with strong hooks that set him apart on the country music scene. Two songs have been featured in major motion pictures, including a bar scene with Renee Zellweger in “One True Thing.”
Doug is a seasoned live performer, having opened for acts like Gregg Allman, Edwin McCain, John Entwistle of The Who, Jewel, The Bacon Brothers and more.
Also opening, The Spadtastics is a Grateful Dead cover band formed to celebrate the memory of friend and brother David Spadaccini, and to honor and play the music he loved.
The concert will benefit the Choose Love Enrichment Program, a next-generation, no-cost infant/toddler through grade 12 Social and Emotional Learning curriculum that infuses character education, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, neuroscience and mindfulness.
The curriculum is being taught in all 50 states and has been downloaded multiple times in nearly 80 countries.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Scarlett Lewis decided to become part of the solution to the issues society is facing by creating social and emotional learning programs to foster the understanding that with the right tools, we can educate and encourage individuals to choose loving thoughts over angry ones.
“Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can always choose how to respond,” she said. “Children can learn to choose a loving thought over an angry one.
“When a child realizes that they have the power to positively impact themselves as well as those around them, it perpetuates their positive actions and interactions.
“I am so grateful to everyone for coming together to support the Choose Love Movement, including our sponsors and supporters, everyone at Ives Concert Park and our great line-up, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, the Spadtastics and Doug Allen,” she said. “Thank you for honoring Jesse and Choosing Love.”
Tickets and information can be found at https://www.jesselewischooselove.org/hearts-on-fire-benefit-concert/ .
Those purchasing tickets through June 29 can get tickets for children younger than 15 free with an adult ticket by using the code KidsFree.
Tickets day of concert will be $30 for adults and $5 for children.
Those seeking additional information may visit www.JesseLewisChooseLove.org.