Since 1983, the South Buffalo Community Table soup kitchen has been serving more than a thousand hot meals a month to the area’s poor and homeless, supported by volunteers, local farmers, businesses, and residents of South Buffalo. The organization also hosts the annual South Buffalo Community Table Get Together, its major fundraiser. Although the event, which would have celebrated its 29th year in April, was cancelled due to the coronavirus, the funds it would have raised are still vital to help the SBCT carry out its mission.

That’s where Tom Burns, associate vice president for public, external, and government relations at Niagara University, decided to step in. Burns, who has served as a member of the Get Together’s planning committee for the past several years, decided to host an online show via Facebook to benefit the SBCT.

“I have been playing online ‘concerts’ since the pandemic started,” said Burns, who is guitarist and vocalist for the local band the Taverners. “A few people suggested raising money as part of these sessions, and I quickly thought of the SBCT soup kitchen.”

Burns’ three-hour, May 22 show featured his wife, Maureen; his son, James, an NU alumnus from the Class of 2018; and his daughters, Brigid, a 2020 NU graduate, and Emily. Burns set up a GoFundMe page for the concert, which raised $2,000 for the SBCT.


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