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Ramble rustles up $25,000 for homeless veterans

Daily News of Newburyport - 10/13/2018

Oct. 13--SALISBURY -- Salisbury Beach played host to the largest-ever Ramble music festival over the summer and the concert has paid off to the tune of $25,000 for veterans facing homelessness.

Musician Adam Ezra has been hosting the annual festival, which raises money for the New England Center and Home for Veterans for the past nine years.

A nonprofit organization, the New England Center equips military veterans facing homelessness with the tools for economic self-sufficiency. Last year's Ramble raised $18,000 for the center.

The Salisbury Beach Partnership sponsors the Ramble. According to partnership board member Bob White, the money raised by this year's Ramble is expected to give 25 veterans a chance to move off the streets.

"It feels great to raise this money but I feel a little bad that we have to do this," he said. "Our country is not taking care of our veterans. We have to support them and do what we can. I don't think there should be any veterans who are out on the streets."

Musicians including Gracie Day, Steve Hartman, The Penniless Wild and The Jason Spooner Band all donated their time and talent to this year's Ramble, which saw close to 4,000 music lovers pack the Broadway Mall on Aug. 25.

White said he hopes to raise $30,000 next summer.

"This all comes down to the weather," he said. "This year, it was a beautiful day, we had a great crowd there and it was fantastic."

In a press release, Ezra said the Ramble gives people an opportunity "to get involved in something bigger than themselves."

"Music has the power to bring us together to do great things, one day at a time, one person at a time, one song at a time," he said.

A volunteer group of beach area businesses and residents, the Salisbury Beach Partnership has spent the past 13 years hosting free events at the beach and is responsible for the weekly Saturday fireworks each summer.

"We are driving to keep the beach center alive," White said.

"We have about 12 weeks each year to make it. Most of the people who come in are day trippers or weekly rentals. We have to make sure that there are plenty of things for them to do down at the beach. So we try to make some money to support the fireworks and the bands and the veterans."

The partnership is also well-known for its annual holiday season SeaFestival of Trees fundraiser and is looking to expand its holiday footprint with its first Halloween by the Sea Costume Ball at the Blue Ocean Music Hall, Saturday, Oct. 27.

A Halloween photo booth will be set up at the ball, along with a fortune teller and an appearance from the Salem Ghostbusters car and characters. An adult costume contest will be held with $1,000 in cash prizes.

The costume party is for adults, 21 and over. Tickets are $25. For more information and tickets go to mysalisburybrach.com or at blueoceanhall.com.

"It's a costume party and it is new to us but we think it can grow as big as the (SeaFestival of Trees)," White said. "We're also talking about adding a pumpkin carving contest and things like that. Let's see how it works out."

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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(c)2018 The Daily News of Newburyport (Newburyport, Mass.)

Visit The Daily News of Newburyport (Newburyport, Mass.) at www.newburyportnews.com

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