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Local band plays ACS benefit

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    Steve Ulicny, known to music fans as Steveo, and Toolshed Jack will be performing a concert to benefit the American Cancer Society at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, 125 Pine St., Tamaqua. The concert will be held on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published February 28. 2019 12:23PM

On stage he is simply known as Steveo, playing bass guitar for local party band Toolshed Jack. A consummate entertainer, his goal is to get the crowd on its feet, swaying and dancing to the music.

Steveo, who is known as Mr. U at his day job at Tamaqua Area High School, has been a member of the band for the last 15 years. For eight of those years, Toolshed Jack has been donating their time and talent to the American Cancer Society, both during the annual telethon and at fundraisers.

While all the band members know the importance of the fight against cancer, it’s personal for Steveo, or rather Steve Ulicny. His brother, Frank, died from brain cancer in 2008. Ulicny has been raising funds and awareness ever since.

“Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer,” says Ulicny.

As adviser to the Tamaqua Area Student Government Association, the Tamaqua Area social studies teacher helped students create a “Kids Helping Kids” event. “Penn State started the THON event and many high schools crafted their own events in support of the fight against childhood cancer. The local ACS telethon started right here at Tamaqua High School 40 years ago. We wanted to keep that connection. I have a profound respect for that.”

The student event will be held on March 9 at the Tamaqua Area Senior High School and will include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a volleyball tournament and a bake and T-shirt sale. All proceeds will be earmarked for pediatric cancer research.

In the meantime, Toolshed Jack will be performing its annual ACS benefit concert on Saturday at The Stitch performing arts hall at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, 125 Pine St. in Tamaqua.

The band is composed of Ulicny, Catherine “Cat” Varley, Brian Legutko, Joel Digris and Keith Collins. The show is being sponsored by Mel and John Ross of the Tamaqua Station Restaurant, the Skook House of Jerky and Stoker’s Microbrewery, which is offering a special on “growlers” for the BYOB event.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. For tickets, call 570-668-1192 or visit the arts center’s Facebook or webpage, www.tamaquaarts.org.

“We also have a large number of gift baskets that have been donated,” says Ulicny. “It’s just amazing how generous people have been and how a common cause can really bring a community together.”

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