A new fundraiser on behalf of Interfaith-Good Samaritan aims to build community through music.
The Good in All of Us is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 15 at the Alice Hardie Stevens Center, 603 University Ave. The event includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, silent auction and live auction. At 6:15 p.m., singer Nicole Lamartine and guitarist Jeff Selden are scheduled to perform.
Lamartine, director of choral activities at the University of Wyoming, said music is an avenue to connect with people around her.
“When we sit down and listen live to other human beings, especially a piece of music with words, then we have a great opportunity to connect and to hear a message that we might not be aware of,” she said.
Last spring, as part of a UW choir concert she directed, students invited five speakers from the community to share a message, including Mike Vercauteren, executive director of Interfaith-Good Samaritan.
Even though she’s lived in Laramie for 10 years, Lamartine admitted she wasn’t familiar with Interfaith-Good Samaritan’s mission before she heard Vercauteren speak.
“He spoke with such passion and such integrity of soul that it stirred me to my core,” she said. “I thought, if there’s ever a chance where I can help Interfaith, I want to do that.”
The Good in All of Us was born from Lamartine’s pledge last spring and a conversation she had with Selden, her husband, last Christmas. They wanted to give back to the community and support fellow Laramie residents, and they wanted to use music, which is what they do best. They decided to host a benefit event and donate the proceeds to Interfaith.
Lamartine and Selden are planning to perform an eclectic mix of pieces for guitar and voice, with guest speakers also taking the stage to share their thoughts about giving.
Lamartine envisions an evening of music that spreads happiness, brings people together, builds awareness of the needs in Laramie and creates change.
“When we perform a song, it’s my intent that we connect, and that we connect very deeply to our common human soul, and that we awaken to the goodness that’s inside of us,” she said.
Vercauteren said The Good in All of Us is the first event fundraiser in Interfaith’s 30-year history. Proceeds will be used to offset a rising need for the organization’s services.
Interfaith-Good Samaritan operates a food pantry and provides emergency assistance with rent, utilities or medical needs.
“Demands are going up for us like all the other nonprofits,” he said. “The bottom line is we say no more than we say yes, and the reason is because we don’t have enough money. We are always looking to build our capacity to help more people.”
Vercauteren said the event is also a way to celebrate Laramie’s generosity — something he witnesses on a daily basis.
“It’s not just about raising the money,” he said. “It’s about celebrating the organization and our community and how we step up to help the people in need.”