“I love everyone in this room, even if I don’t know you, because this is a room full of love,” Ben Mikula of the Alpaca Gnomes told the crowd right before the last song of the set he was playing with two other members of his band at Pacific Standard Tavern on Sunday afternoon. “I’m so glad to see people helping each other.”
Mikula was there along with a long roster of others to help raise money for the American SIDS Institute at the fifth annual Graceland benefit, held in loving memory of Grace Margaret Pimenta Fernandez, daughter of Hannah Pimenta, the founder and organizer of this event.
Grace was born on Sept. 21, 2010 and died of SIDS — sudden infant death syndrome — on Jan. 19, 2011.
“It took me a while to feel,” Hannah told the Independent before the show. “About a year later I was at Milford Hospital for an appointment and saw a sign about the American SIDS Institute. I knew right away I wanted to get involved.”
Pimenta contacted the institute in Florida and spoke with Betty MacIntyre, its executive director and CEO, to figure out what she could do to help and decided to go with a fundraiser.
“I had no idea what to do,” she said. So she reached out to good friend Ryan Schutt of the Kazoo Crew Family Band for assistance in setting something up...Read on in the New Haven Independent!