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New Kid's View

Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.

Gift That Keeps on Giving

At the risk of being accused of piling on, I second fellow blogger Greg Janisch's praise of the Garlic Mustard Pickers. As Greg noted in his Christmas Day post in which he listed the Garlic Mustard Pickers' early 2008 concert calendar, this talented group, which specializes in Irish folk and Celtic music, gives back to the community in more ways that one.
An example is their generousity with the Rotary Club of Mitchell Field, which contracted with the groujp to play at its annual auction and major fundraiser in October. The group then donated part of the proceeds from their performance back to the Club. Among the many beneficiaries of the Rotary Club's fundraising efforts were recepients of 40 Thanksgiving baskets and 26 prepared meals.
That donation was not unique for this group. As Greg noted, it returned 50 percent of its 2007 income to the community in the form of donations to local service projects.
The Garlic Mustard Pickers' first concert of '08 is scheduled for 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, at the smoke-free  ('ray!) coffee shop, Fixx, at 3558 Sivyer Ave. in St. Francis.
Greg, who, in his blog, Park News...And More, has expressed great concerm for the condition and future of what has been Milwaukee County's premier park system. The parks, and in particular, Grant Park in South Milwaukee, has been the passion of Garlic Mustard Pickers' band member Dan Lawson. It was Don's great concern about the unchecked growth of an invasive weed, called garlic mustard, that gave his band its name.
While the band's performance schedule will consume much of Don's time through the winter and early spring months of the year, organizing and mobilizing a small army of volunteers on Saturday mornings later in the spring to pick -- or more accurately, yank out by the roots -- patches of garlic mustard. The only compensation, other than a great sense of satisfaction from doing a good deed, are the cookies and soda Don hands out at the conclusion of each weed-pulling session.
Those garlic mustard pickers are easy to spot. Many wear bright yellow t-shirts Don provides. If you happen to see them, feel free to join in. That's what one wonman did a couple of years ago. She was out for a walk in the park one spring Saturday morning saw clumps of the yellow t-shirted volunteers. She found Don, asked what they were doing, grabbed a plastic bag -- which are reused until they fall apart -- and began her volunteer service as a garlic mustard picker. 
Another way the Garlic Mustard Pickers -- the musical group -- serve the community is to hold an annual major fundraiser of its own. Each spring they perform at a Pullin' O' the Green which benefits the Friends of Grant Park, a group dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of Grant Park. For a $10 donation, Pullin' O' the Green attendees get a bowl of Irish stew, bread, beverage and a earful of great Celtic music courtesy of the Garlic Mustard Pickers. You can mark your calendars now for that event:
March 8, 2008, at the Grant Park Golf Course Clubhouse. Food service begins at 5 p.m. and music from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Hope to see you there -- if not earlier at Fixx.
The Garlic Mustard Pickers are back and are planning performances for 2008! The Garlic Mustard Pickers are having their first concert of 2008 on Monday, January 7th at Fixx. Fixx is a smoke-free coffee shop in St. Francis near the Lakefront Condo’s in St. Francis. The band will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. The address of Fixx is 3558 Sivyer Ave, St Francis, and is located just off Packard Ave about one block north of Howard Avenue. Fixx’s phone number is (414) 482-0919. The Garlic Mustard Pickers is a Celtic Band and performs Celtic and Folk music. I have seen them several time and they are one of my all-time favorite bands. I listen to their CD, “Off to the Woods” all the time and I also have some of the CD’s made by Bohrer Moraim. Bohrer Moraim was a previous celtic band with many of the same members as Garlic Mustard Pickers. If you like Celtic Music you will love this band. If you can’t make the gig on Jan. 7th, the band will be playing more throughout 2008. In addition to Jan. 7th, the Garlic Mustard Pickers will be playing on the following days: Monday, February 4th, at Fixx; Monday, March 3rd at Fixx;Saturday, March 8th at the Grant Park Golf Course Clubhouse. The last date listed, Saturday, March 8th, is the annual “Pullin O’ the Green”. The $10.00 admission gets you a fine Irish meal, a beer or other beverage, and some fine Celtic Music. Food is served starting at 5 pm and the band plays from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. This is a major fundraiser for the Friends of Grant Park. Several of the members of The Garlic Mustard Pickers are also active in the Friends of Grant Park. The Garlic Mustard Pickers members are active in the local community and have made major contributions to the upkeep and maintenance of Grant Park.  I recently had the opportunity to speak to band member Don Lawson. Don and I got to know each other when our sons were in Boy Scouts together, and I have followed his band since then. 

According to Don, “We appreciate anything you'd want to say about the musical style of our group. But there's another side to the band that is probably not well known. This band is not just a group of musicians. The band is a corporation that has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. The band has a strong track record of supporting community service programs”.
“Even though the band is still investing in its future (building up its sound system, setting aside money to produce a second CD), in 2007 we were able to donate 50% of band income to local service projects. We expect that in 2008 that the percentage of donations
will increase”.

 Wow! That is a true success story. If only more people showed that level of commitment to the local parks and to the community in general. What a better world we would live in! If you want to show your support for the Friends of Grant Park and make a positive impact on the community, as well as hearing some awesome Celtic music, mark your calendar for one or more of these outstanding performances. I know I’ll be there!

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