Always on the Road for Fundraisers and Community Engagement
Meet Danny Cruz, Band Leader, guitarist and vocalist of Five For The Road (FFTR). Despite his busy work schedule with Materials and Logistics at Metro Vancouver Regional District, Danny still makes time to make music, sing in church activities, and entertain the community. He is one of the volunteers who have banded together to form an ad hoc committee, Canadian Filipinos for RCRG, which will stage a musical fundraiser, Band2Gether4RCRG, in support of Richmond Cares Richmond Gives (RCRG) on 4 March 2017, 7:30 – 10 pm at Fraserview Church, 11295 Mellis Drive, Richmond. Tickets are $15 each and are available on Eventbrite.ca [search Band2Gether]; or by calling 604-279-7020; or during the event.
FFTR was formed in 2005 by singers and musicians in the choirs of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey, BC. Their passion for music and entertaining transcended church hymns; thus, a Soft Rock and Acoustic Band was formed much to the delight of parishioners and friends who wanted hear more from the group outside the church halls. FFTR is composed of Danny Cruz (Band Leader, Vocals and Acoustic/Electric Guitars), Tito Bernardino (Vocals and Acoustic Guitar), Chester Aquino (Bass Guitar), and Bong Chaves (Electronic Drums and Vocals). In 2016, FFTR successfully raised funds for Domestic Abuse Services and The Jesus and The Children Memorial Garden Project of the Catholic Cemeteries in two sold-out events: Folk Songs in Concert and Folk Songs in Concert Encore. On 17 February 2017, 7 pm, FFTR will be performing at St. Matthew’s Elementary School to fundraise for the school gym riser. Here are Danny’s words about FFTR and volunteerism:
Why is volunteering important to you? “We volunteer to keep the community dynamic and to provide the needed the support when no one else can give it.”
What made you form this group? “Initially, we formed our band for the joy of doing music and to keep the camaraderie with people who share the same passion for music. As FFTR evolved and became more known in the community, we became more involved in fundraising through entertaining for a good cause.”
How and why do you keep connected or engaged to your present community? “We do Sunday Church service by singing and playing musical instruments on our local Parish choir. We also perform in funeral services, church fundraisers and events like seasonal fairs, Simbang Gabi, Parish Fiestas, Novenas, special masses, parish summer picnics, and other events to honour Catholic priests and those who serve the community.”
What is your tip for anyone thinking of volunteering? “If you have the energy and a talent to share, think about how a person or a big group can benefit from what you share. It is much better to express yourself through your talents instead of keeping all that energy inside of you.”