Mes amis, read on for part deux of Party Girl's local volunteer recap. I told y'all there would be plenty to report! Well, in addition to volunteering, locals are also turning their parties and events into fundraisers, combining the best of both worlds. The outdoor concert, Band Together, a benefit for the Red Cross Sept. 10, was a huge hit, packing the Parc International stage with performers from Michael Doucet to Zachary Richard to New Orleans' David Torkanowsky, who's making quite a name for himself around town. (He'll also be the special guest at Festival International's Amis du Festival membership drive Sept. 24 at Blue Moon.) And of course Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars shined, opening the show and playing through the night. The crowd packed the park and included many from New Orleans. Two touching moments were American Routes producer Nick Spitzer's words about the generosity of Lafayette and the closing number, "When the Saints Go Marching In." The crowd formed a second line of course, complete with umbrellas. Word on the street is more outdoor benefit concerts are in the works, so leave your weekends open and stayed tuned!

Also turning a good time into a fundraiser was the second annual arts event, Prelude: Overture to the Arts. Held at the Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium, Prelude provides a sneak peek of arts organizations' upcoming seasons. Entertainment included Lafayette Ballet Theater dancers, the Kabuki Dancers drumming up interest in PASA's new season and the highlight of the evening, Tower of Power's Ellis Hall performing with the Acadiana All-Stars, a group of Lafayette musicians and special New Orleans evacuee musicians. And props go to Jill Merkl, who joined Ellis on stage for "You are the Sunshine of My Life." Proceeds from the event go to an endowed Fund for the Arts at Community Foundation of Acadiana and also went to a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund this year. There's just no end to the power of our arts here, y'all!

Before I get to my final party turned fundraiser, let me fill y'all in on another effort going on around town. The Louisiana Home & Garden Show and Acadiana Fun Jumps have been holding luggage drives on weekends and delivering the luggage to the Cajundome. The first drive gathered more than 700 pieces, and more are needed. So, as an excuse for a new suitcase, y'all bring those old ones to Acadiana Fun Jumps.

Volunteer On! ' PG

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