When kids stay busy and productive, they stay out of trouble - and they do good things for their community.
Gib Taylor, owner of Mojo's Music Bar, firmly believes that. It's why he is a strong supporter of the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program and recently joined its board of directors.
Taylor said his goal for 2011 is to raise $10,000 for the program through various projects and efforts. Shane Hawkins, executive director of the program, said he is already halfway there.
A fundraiser concert will be held Friday beginning at 9 p.m. at Mojo’s Music Bar to benefit the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program, seen above. Performances will be by Marla Harris, Cindy Haight, Andy McCoy and Bad Money.
P-J photo by Dave Emke
''He's just been a great addition to the board - so much energy, and he loves kids and likes doing things to benefit the community,'' she said. ''I couldn't say enough good things about Gib.''
Friday night at Mojo's, Taylor's next event to raise money for Infinity will take place. Several local musical artists who have shown their support for the Infinity program over the years will be there to help the cause.
Marla Harris, Cindy Haight, Andy McCoy and Bad Money will play at Mojo's from 9 p.m. to closing time Friday, with all proceeds raised by their performances going to Infinity. Each of the artists has ties to the program - McCoy is a former student of the program, for example, and Haight's children are currently enrolled there - and each has agreed to play for free for the cause, Taylor said.
''Hopefully, we can raise a nice little amount of money,'' Taylor said.
Drawings will also be held throughout the night for prizes donated by local businesses including the Fenton Grill, the Cherry Lounge, Jones 212 Bakery and Suburban Blend. Hawkins said that Taylor has been working hard during his time on the Infinity board to secure such donations.
''He talks to people about Infinity, describes what we are and how that person can help,'' she said. ''Some people have given cash donations, he's sold raffle tickets at Mojo's, he participates in every fundraiser that we have - he's kind of a one-man fundraising committee.''
Taylor has also recently secured donations of an iPad from EagleZip and two tickets to a Foo Fighters concert from the Local Wire. Those items will be given away during the Local Music Showcase, a fundraiser for Infinity that will be held on Sept. 10.
A youth probation officer by day, Taylor said that he feels strongly that raising money for youth-support programs such as Infinity benefits society in the long run.
''If they stay busy, they don't get in trouble,'' he said. ''I don't even tell people what I do for a day job - I just always just try to do things like this just as a person. I don't even care about my business, as long as we can do something to raise money for helping kids.''
Hawkins said the local community has always been very supportive of the Infinity program, and Taylor's work has been just one recent strong example. The local music scene has backed the program especially hard, Hawkins said, as it has become even more important in the wake of funding cuts to arts programs.
''You hear about all the bad things kids are exposed to, kids doing negative things with their time, and the kids here are really doing something that is positive - and they're getting positive feedback for being positive,'' Hawkins said. ''Programs like ours are becoming even more important and, because of the funding cuts, we need to be creative to raise money. That's what Gib has done - he's been proactive and such an ambassador in the community.''
Admission to the musical event Friday night will be a donation to the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program. Mojo's is located at 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more info, call 720-4621.
Other area happenings:
What: 73rd annual Westfield Antique Show
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Eason Hall, 23 Elm St., Westfield (one mile off NYS Thruway Exit 60)
Cost: $5 donation for the Chautauqua County Historical Society; free parking
The event is the longest continuously running antique show in the U.S. and will feature more than 20 different dealers from five different states. For more info, visit www.westfieldantiqueshow.com or call 326-2977.
* 27.6 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Screening of "Alice in Wonderland"
When: 8:30 p.m. today
Where: Floating Stage, Bemus Point
The film is viewable from both sides of the Floating Stage. Sound is broadcast on 104.9 FM. For more info, call 386-7000.
* 10.3 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Full Moon Paddle
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake, Bemus Point
Cost: $25, equipment included
All events have limited spots, so reservations are required through Evergreen Outfitters. For more info, call 763-2266.
* 12.6 miles from downtown Jamestown.