READING, Pennsylvania – The continuing images of a war-torn Ukraine continue to impact people right here in Berks County.
“We cannot allow this to happen,” said artist and event organizer Lucille DiGiamberardino. “These are war crimes.”
The situation reminded me of a message from his mother.
“She was like, ‘Lucille, you have a responsibility,'” DiGiamberardino recalled. “And I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m one person,’ and she said one person can make a difference.”
After that, DiGiamberardino turned to those at Alvernia University in Reading and artists from our area.
“So when it happened, and they were surrounding Ukraine — the Russians — I was like, ‘OK, what can I do?’ I can make music,” she said.
The benefit event for Ukraine will be free-standing, using multiple spaces on the Alvernia campus, including the Francis Hall Theatre.
“We’re going to have folk music and just people joining in and that kind of stuff,” DiGiamberardino said of the event, “and when you walk into this hall here, we have artists, artisans. We also have a caterer who will bring us coffee and tea.”
The Sunday benefit lineup will feature several artists, including the Brass Pockets and the Rockman Blues Band.
The money raised will go to GlobalGiving, an organization that says it “helps donors make safe and easy U.S. tax-deductible donations to locally controlled and directed organizations around the world.”
“If I can bring money for that, I’m grateful to everyone that we can do that and send it directly to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees,” DiGiamberardino said.
She added, “I think the celebration of life, happiness and dancing is something we really need as we watch this war.”
The benefit concert takes place on Sunday, April 24 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.