Concert for a good cause

In a time when positions are being cut at all levels of government and money is being spent stringently, South San Francisco officials recognize the need to keep some small programs alive.

That is why the elected officials are sponsoring and organizing a jazz concert fundraiser Saturday that will benefit community outreach programs that help the elderly, developmentally disabled and students in need of school supplies in their community.

According to City Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto, the city recognized the need to keep programs that enlist young volunteers to make cards for elderly residents who may not have family that can look out for them.

“They’re small but important,” Matsumoto said of the community outreach programs. “The seniors just love getting these cards.”

Cards, cookies and other treats are made and given to seniors on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Matsumoto said.

The outreach program with developmentally disabled children offers training classes to the youth and their caregivers in case of emergency, South City Fire Department Chief Phil White said.

The backpack program provides bags to young children whose families are facing financial troubles.

White said he hopes the benefit will raise as much as $8,000 to keep these programs running.

“In these economically challenging times, we want to be able to continue them,” he said. “We have a network of volunteers, so none of this money goes toward salaries, but it will go a long way for supplies.”

White said these programs help as many as 1,100 people including 800 seniors considered “at risk,” more than 200 school children and 70 developmentally disabled children.

The first benefit for the community outreach programs — Jazz by the Bay — will feature the Peninsula’s own Dave Miller Trio, a three-piece jazz ensemble, held at the Centennial Towers Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Matsumoto said the benefit is a jazz concert because she wanted the event to be creative and bring a little culture to South City while saving programs.

“And it calls attention to some of the programs we don’t want going by the wayside” she said. “It’s not going to be a big moneymaker, but it will get us through next fiscal year and hopefully more after that.”

Jazz by the Bay

What: South San Francisco benefit concert for community outreach programs
When: Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Centennial Towers, 1200 South Airport Blvd.
How much: $50 for reserved seating, $35 for general
How to get tickets: Call City Hall at (650) 877-5200

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