Rockin’ The Region: A community benefit for Project VISION

By Dave Hoffenberg
There is no better way to spend a Saturday then by giving back to the Rutland Community while enjoying a rocking and rolling country luau pig roast. If that sounds like a great time then head to The Local in Rutland July 19 at 5 p.m. It’s only $5 to get in and that gets you two great bands, Whisper and Thunder Road, and delicious pig!
All the door proceeds go to Rutland’s Project VISION.
Project VISION, although fairly new, has already helped to bring about significant changes in our community. Perhaps the most significant is the commitment to work together to address our collective challenges. The best example of this is the leadership demonstrated by the Rutland City Police Department in bringing together a number of social service organizations, many of which are now co-located at the Police Department, to help address the issues underlying criminal activity in our community. These issues include (but are not limited to) mental illness, family dysfunction, poverty and substance abuse. Project VISION believes this unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination between law enforcement and the social service agencies serving our community will bring about meaningful improvement in the lives of our citizens and more effective law enforcement.
While the initiatives of the Rutland Police Department may be the most notable example of a renewed spirit of cooperation within our community, it is certainly not the only example. The City’s Northwest Neighborhood currently has 21 vacant or blighted buildings, which severely affect the quality of life in the neighborhood. The Rutland Redevelopment Authority (RRA), which has historically served as Rutland City’s economic development entity, is seeking a $1.25 million dollar grant to demolish, restore or replace approximately half of those vacant or blighted structures in the next four years.
An undertaking of this magnitude goes well beyond the ability of the RRA alone. As such, the RRA has partnered with NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, a not-for-profit housing organization and the Housing Trust of Rutland County to help them complete this task. It is likely there will be other partners as well. This partnership will permit them to accomplish so much more than they ever could working alone.
In addition to music, food and giveaways throughout the day and night, there also will be a few race cars from Devil’s Bowl Speedway on display.
Whisper opens the event. Listening to this band, you would not think they have only been together for one year. That’s because the three guys that make up the band have been in the music business for close to five decades!
Alan Hall is the drummer and vocalist, Dave Juice plays bass guitar and sings vocals, and Seth LaFountaine takes the lead guitar and vocals. The band plays something for everyone with a wide variety of hits like George Jones, ZZ Top, The Beatles, Elvis, Stray Cats, The Eagles, Dwight Yoakam, Chuck Berry and much more to move and groove to.
Hall got in the music business through the influence of pioneers Elvis and The Beatles.
“We mix it all up with a big variety because that’s what people like,” he explained. “We just like entertaining the public and it’s just fun to do. We just have a real good time doing it. We’re not doing it just for the money, we’re having fun with it. We all just love music.”
Whisper will also play at the Vermont State Fair later this summer.
Thunder Road closes the night with their mix of hard-rockin’, no twangin’ top 40 country and classic rock.

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