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Local band to play for cause at Theodore’s

Date: 11/20/2014

SPRINGFIELD – Peter J. Newland and RadioXile are performing at Theodore’s Booze Blues & BBQ on Dec. 6 to celebrate the individuals who coordinated the annual Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive and Toy Run in early November to benefit children in need during the holiday season through Brightside for Families and Children.

“We want to celebrate the Brightside mission along with the Stonecutters Chapter of the Massachusetts Widows Sons and all the folks who help to put together the toy drive, toy run and after party fundraiser,” said Newland during a recent late afternoon interview with Reminder Publications at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. Brightside programs are coordinated on the Providence campus in Holyoke.

Newland noted the weekend toy drive and toy run is a big undertaking each year and knows the importance of thanking volunteers for their time and willingness to give back to others – especially children.

“Everybody works so hard on the event so the check presentation of money raised during the after party fundraiser gives us a chance to hang out, appreciate the results of the work that has been done, and get stoked for next year,” he said.

Newland has spent more than four decades on the music scene, from his role as front man with the local band FAT to playing guitar, keyboards and blues harmonica with RadioXile. He also relishes the years he spent in Nashville honing his skills as a songwriter.

“For 40 years I chased a musical dream,” he said, adding that a memorable moment came years ago when Hank Williams Jr. cut one of his songs.

Newland said he “sacrificed” a lot of time and money over the years and on a return trip to Western Massachusetts to visit his brother, he met Sandy, an art teacher in the Monson public school system, fell in love, and soon was selling cars on Columbus Avenue. Today he is an executive sales manager for Catuogno Court Reporting and StenTel Transcription at One Monarch Place.

“I have enormous respect for my colleagues in the music industry,” he said, adding that performing “part time” is still an important part of his life.

For Newland and members of RadioXile – Mark Pappas, guitar, Tom Petri, bass, Chet Pasek, drums, and Ralph Whittle, keyboards, the event is a way to give back to the Greater Springfield community.

“The company I work for hosts a lot of fundraisers for Mercy Medical Center and the Sisters of Providence Health System,” he said. “Through these events I became acquainted with the mission six to seven years ago. Once I became aware of the wonderful work of the Sisters of Providence and their staff I decided to do whatever I could do to help.”

Newland noted a successful collaboration this summer with Mercy in conjunction with the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival, as well as the launch of an annual sock drive for Health Care for the Homeless at Mercy.

“I donate my music whenever I am asked,” he said.

Area residents interested in attending are welcome to come early and enjoy the establishment’s well-known barbecue fare, and the music starts at 9 p.m. Rock and blues, standards and some of Newland’s original music will be highlighted during the event which wraps up at 12:30 a.m.

“It’s a great night of music, food, and friendship, and it’s important to me to spread the word about the mission of the Sisters of Providence,” he said.

This event is free, Newland said.