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October 18, 2012

A little help from their friends

Beatlejuice concert aids Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley will celebrate the organization’s best year ever, while working to raise the money to support its future work during a rock ’n’ roll fundraiser featuring the local band Beatlejuice tomorrow at Blue Ocean Music Hall at Salisbury Beach.

With headquarters at Maple Street in Salisbury, the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley serves families in Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newbury, West Newbury, Rowley, Byfield and Merrimac, as well as other surrounding communities.

In addition to the concert by Beatlejuice, the fundraiser will include the presentation of the club’s annual awards to an outstanding youth, adult, business and volunteer.

The popular Beatles cover band will take the stage at 8 p.m. The local band, formed in 1994 after Brad Delp, former singer with the band Boston, and John Muzzy saw a Beatles tribute band in Newburyport and decided to start their own. When Delp took his own life in 2007, the band continued as Beatlejuice and Friends.

Today, there can be as many as seven performers onstage during the shows. In addition to Muzzy, the band includes keyboardist/guitarist Steve Baker, bassist and Newburyport resident Joe Holaday and guitarist Dave Mitchell. It also features Rich Bartlett and Brian Dixey on acoustic guitar, percussionist Evan Gianoulis and vocalists Mike Girard, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Bernard and Bob Jennings.

According to Boys and Girls Club executive director Jim Keenan, membership increased by about 37 percent over the past year, as the club served 420 youth in 2012 compared to 306 in 2011.

Daily attendance in the club’s after-school program rose from 70 kids per day to 80, he said, and summer camp daily figures soared to 81 attendees a day this year compared to 54 in 2011.

Those are the best statistics in the club’s 11-year history, said Keenan, who believes the rise in participation stems primarily from an improvement in the quality of programs offered at the club.

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