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Cove Reunion combines feelings of nostalgia with supporting a great cause

Sometimes nostalgia can bring out the best in people.

The Cove Reunion celebrated its seventh year on Saturday October 10 to benefit the Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC).

The event was hosted at the neighborhood favorite Salty Dog, 7509 Third Avenue, and included sets by Bay Ridge bands who performed during the 1980s at the Cove. The line-up included Whippoorwill, Al Lama with Diana Lisa, Piranha Brothers, the Lynch Brothers, City Kids with Jack Whitman, and Working Class.

City Kids band member and organizer of the event Mike Riddle told this paper, “The atmosphere was electric and joyous. We had people laughing. We had people crying. The turnout was outstanding.

“I love this neighborhood,” Riddle went on. “City Kids had more than our fair share of success here [and in other parts of the world] and it’s hard to beat Bay Ridge people.”

The reunion aspect also was important. “Playing with the original line-up [with the exception of their original drummer] was very emotional, and very satisfying,” noted Riddle. “It will probably never happen again and I was just trying to savor it. The crowd was amazing and it was very rewarding.”

Selecting the Guild — a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to help improve the quality of life for children and adults living with developmental disabilities — as beneficiary was a logical choice.

Not only is the organization a home-grown one, founded in Bay Ridge, but its Executive Director Paul Cassone is a member of one of the performing bands, Whippoorwill.

“The atmosphere was amazing. People traveled from all over to see us,” recalled Cassone. He also noted that he was gratified by the support of the musicians who continue to come and play for the cause year after year, as well as by the support of the people who came to the event.

While this event is a yearly occurrence, the next Cove Reunion may reflect a bit of change. Riddle explained that he will not be running the event next year and that it is difficult to gather all the original City Kids members, because many members have relocated.

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