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Butler County's great daily newspaper

Band ‘Old School’ to play fundraiser

Members of Old School are, from left, Frank Angeloni, Pete Schidemantle and Bob Dandoy, with Jerry Johnston, seated. Submitted photo

Old School is a group of senior guys who like to get together to make music. The joy of performing, they say, will be topped this month when they take the stage to help a 5-year-old.

The local cover band will play at a fundraiser Jan. 29 to help raise money to benefit Nickolas Silva, a boy from Richmond, Va., who was born with Miller-Dieker syndrome, a rare brain condition that renders him unable to walk and talk.

A Ride for Nickolas is being hosted by Nickolas’ family in Butler at American Legion Post 778. The event will feature food, music, raffles, prizes and more to help the Silva family pay for a wheelchair-accessible van to transport Nickolas.

Bob Dandoy, bassist and singer in the band, said they were approached by one of the organizers about performing at the benefit and that Old School was eager to help.

“I consider myself incredibly blessed. I have beautiful, healthy grandchildren. To be able to help another kid means I leave this place better than I left it,” Dandoy said.

Old School is comprised of Dandoy, Jerry Johnston, Frank Angeloni and Pete Schidemantle. According to Dandoy, each of them have years of experience performing in bands, but Old School began playing together in September.

“Our first gig was the Saxonburg Arts Festival ... we do it mainly for fun,” Dandoy said. “We’re an oldies cover band; we try to focus on the old stuff that you don’t hear a lot.”

Johnston, guitarist and singer, said Old School has played Missing Links and other local places and that they are booked until June of next year.

“We’re all pretty much seniors who play together once a month,” Johnston said. “Once (music) is in your blood, it’s hard to get it out.”

Johnston said it’s always important to give back by helping others, which is why Old School agreed to play at the fundraiser.

“It’s always important; my parents instilled that in me,” Johnston said. “If we can give back and do some small things to help, we should do it.”

A Ride for Nickolas is set from 3 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Lyndora American Legion Post 778, 150 Legion Memorial Lane. Old School will perform from 5 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased until Friday by contacting DeLynn Cunningham at delynn101@hotmail.com.

For those who cannot attend the fundraiser but would like to donate to help Nickolas and his family, checks can be mailed to Nickolas Silva c/o NexTier Bank Butler Branch, P.O. Box 1550, Butler, PA 16003-1550.