Playing for a Cause


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What's more festive than a concert for a cause? This weekend, Des Moines and Iowa City will give back to the community with the fourth-annual Home for the Holidays, featuring Eufórquestra.

Home for the Holidays IV will take place at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Gabe's, 330 E. Washington St. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. There will be $1 off the ticket price for bringing a canned good, and that could go up to $2 off.

The event will open with a Grateful Dead Tribute band called Winterland before the Quad Cities' Candymakers and Eufórquestra take the stage.

In the past, the event that has raised more than $10,000 and 750 pounds of food to benefit the Food Bank of Polk County and the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

Scott Kading, the owner of Gabe's, said last year was one of the venue's busiest shows, saying that Iowa City came together to support the benefit. 

"It's a ton of fun for a great cause," Kading said. "There's a good-sized crowd during winter break, and it really couldn't have been a better time."

Eufórquestra started the event four years ago as a way to combine its homecoming for the holidays with a fundraiser for the Crisis Center. All of the members from the group are originally from Iowa and attended school in Iowa City before moving to Colorado.

The band's saxophone player, Austin Zaletel, noted that the group's fan base in Iowa City has grown since the band members moved to Colorado. He described the group's music as a combination of soul and reggae.

"We just want to get people shaking their booties," Zaletel said. "It's a great time for people to just dance their asses off."

The group's main guitarist, Mike Tallman, said that when the musicians learned about the decrease in donations that food shelters receive after Thanksgiving, they thought food banks would be a great benefit for the event.

"It feels really good to be able to do something for the community," Tallman said. "It's a party of a show. We try to do as much as we can. We do our best, and it's very rewarding.

Peter McCarthy, the general manager of Gabe's, said the event wouldn't be possible without its volunteers and New Belgium Brewing and Fleck Sales help out with promotional materials and donations.  

"It's a good time for a good cause," he said. "You get to listen to great music all night and visit with friends, and the whole time you're raising money for a great cause."

Home For The Holidays IV featuring Eufórquestra
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gabe's, 330 E. Washington
Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

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