Crowds lined the lawns of Island Park in Tilton and Northfield last weekend to hear the Uncle Steve Band. Before the concert started, though, it was announced that a fundraising campaign is now underway to help replace the cedar shingled roof of the 21-year-old bandstand. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 19, 2014TILTON — As the Uncle Steve Band rocked Island Park on the Tilton/Northfield town line last Sunday night, the hundreds who enjoyed their bluesy rock tunes also showed their support for the free concert series by dropping money in a canister to help repair the bandstand's leaking roof.
"This (the Alan and Savina Memorial Bandstand) was built in 1993, and is really in need of some help," said Allison Hartwell-Stewart, who heads up the concerts for her now deceased parents. "We're hoping there will be an outpouring of support from the community to get this done."
Island Park lies directly on the town line in the middle of the Winnipesauke River, and was given to the towns of both Northfield and Tilton by Charles E. Tilton in the late 1800's. While accessible only from Main Street in Tilton, both communities share ownership and responsibilities for the property.
Prior to last week's concert, Hartwell-Stewart approached selectmen in both towns about the issue with the structure and each board lent their support to her efforts to repair the roof.
"It was the consensus of our board to see the Island concerts continue," said Tilton Select Board Chair Pat Consentino. "We're getting ready to send out requests for estimates and we will help in any way we can within the realm of both towns."
In order to allow things to continue for the remainder of the summer concert series, Tilton Selectman Jon Scanlon went out last week and made some temporary repairs to the leaking roof. He was assisted by Billy Lawrence of Bryant & Lawrence Hardware in Tilton, which gave him a discount on the special nails necessary for repairs to some of the cedar shake shingles.
To kick off the fundraising last Sunday however, Hartwell-Stewart and her family began selling music cd's from both her mother Savina and some of the groups who have performed at their concerts. They also sold commemorative pewter ornaments of the Island's bandstand named in her parent's memory. Money raised from those sales will help in purchasing the supplies needed as well as the labor involved to replace the roof.
Last weekend's crowd was a great example of how much everyone obviously enjoys the concerts, including those from outside the two towns. Besides other residents from nearby Franklin, Hill, Belmont and Laconia, several Sanbornton residents also attended the event, which was co-sponsored by their very own Heritage Farm and the Swain family that operates it.
Another important annual sponsor has been the Thomas Salatiello Family Trust out of Sanbornton, and Tom himself was on the Island last Sunday night to enjoy the music and camaraderie of the evening.
"I give a lot of credit to Allison for continuing the concerts her father started. It makes a difference and I value what it does for the entire community," Salatiello said.
Other key sponsors have been the Towns of Tilton and Northfield, Gale Insurance Company, Franklin Savings Bank, Kenny Partridge Construction, Kris Meinhold, and the Tilton/Northfield United Methodist Church who are operating the food concessions this year.
There are two Sunday night concerts left in the 2014 series and donations for the roof project will be gratefully accepted at each event. Other inquiries on contributions may be made through the Alan & Savina Hartwell Memorial Bandstand page on Facebook.
"This bandstand and concert series was Alan's gift to all of you, the people of Tilton and Northfield. It has stood here proudly since 1993 and become an icon and a place where people can come together for friendship, fellowship, fun and good music," Hartwell-Stewart said. "We need your help to make the necessary repairs. We hope you have enjoyed the series and will come to the summertime concert series for many more years ahead."