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The Humane Society Hosts Music in the Park Event

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Caitlyn Hayden (‘21)  holds a one month old kitten named Ginger Baker from the Humane Society

Caitlyn Hayden (‘21) holds a one month old kitten named Ginger Baker from the Humane Society

Cara Keith (‘21) | Chips

Cara Keith (‘21) | Chips

Caitlyn Hayden (‘21) holds a one month old kitten named Ginger Baker from the Humane Society

Cara Keith, Features Editor

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It’s a bright, sunny day at Phelps Park and a small crowd has gathered to listen to Eric Sessions, John Goodin, and Maritza perform while also getting the opportunity to meet some of the adoptable animals from the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa. On September 9th, the Humane Society sponsored an event called Music In The Park that combined a free concert with the chance to learn more about how to help the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa through volunteering or donations.

This is the first time the HSNEI has put on the Music in the Park event. Around 50 community members were in attendance and many brought animals of their own to enjoy this event. In addition to the animals that the community brought, the Humane Society also brought two dogs named Nova and Buddy and one orange tabby kitten named Ginger Baker.

Patricia Edde, one of the main coordinators of this event, explains how she came up with the idea to put on this particular benefit.

“I love the Humane Society and I love fall so I decided to combine the two in a benefit for Decorah’s Humane Society,” Edde said. “I volunteer there every Saturday at the front desk and see the wonderful work that is being done and wanted to be able to help them out in another way, hence the benefit. I am also hoping that while they are there and hear what I have to say about HSNEI, they will make generous donations that will go entirely to our shelter.”

One defining feature of this event is the free music. Eric Sessions and John Goodin typically play acoustic folk music and are well known in the Decorah area, frequently performing at different events such as weddings, church services, and  benefit concerts. Maritza is a music group consisted of Pine Wilson, who plays the accordian, Ann Streufert, who plays violin, and Hannah Breckbill, who plays double bass. Sally Reimer is the fourth member of the band who did not perform with Maritza at the Music In The Park event.

Wilson describes the style of music that Maritza typically plays.

“We play music mostly from Eastern Europe, mostly traditional dance music,” Wilson says. “Besides Eastern Europe, we sometimes play Russian or Ukrainian music and music from Greece. We’re based in Decorah and we’ve been here for 21 years and we play in the tristate region.”

The community members who attended this event were exposed to many different types of traditional folk music. While many of those in attendance were from the Decorah community, this event also attracted current Luther students and recent Luther alum.

Cara Keith (’21) | Chips
Maritza performs at the Phelps Park Bandstand

Caitlyn Hayden (‘21) described the experience of attending the Music in the Park event.

“The whole thing was very inviting and open to the public,” Hayden said. “I really loved the music too. The Humane Society volunteers and workers were very open to talking about their work with the animals and talked a lot about the individual stories of how they received the animals. This event made me want to volunteer with the Humane Society.”

Edde hopes to see the community adopt more animals from the Humane Society so that they can find their forever homes.

“I have always said that animals are some of the nicest people that I know,” Edde said. “Our world is in a state of real disarray and the power of an animal to provide comfort during good and bad times is a very real thing. I hope that people who maybe don’t have an animal already will give some real consideration to adopting.”

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