Rockin” for a good cause in Hudson
By Sarah Freedman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Promoting music and supporting a good cause are two passions for the Sullivan family of Hudson, and for their group, The Sullivan Studio Band.
For the last 10 years, Margaret Sullivan and her husband, Rob, have donated their time and effort to Relay for Life, a nonprofit organization and walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Margaret has volunteered on the committee that plans the event in Marlborough and Hudson, and served as an event chair one year.
“I have participated at various levels – always as a walker and member of a team,” Margaret said.
The Relay for Life is an 18-hour event where participants walk in memory of those affected by the disease, and raise money for the American Cancer Society. Margaret has been a part of the “Purple Piggy Bankers,” a relay team composed of employees from Avidia Bank, where she is employed as a chief financial officer.
“It simply started with a group of people whose lives were impacted by cancer through loved ones and wanted to make a difference in the fight against cancer,” Margaret said.
And, as family members and friends are invited to become part of the team, her sons Bobby, 18, and Chris, 15, contribute their time as walkers and have been “relayers” since their mother began supporting the event.
“My sons and I walk and fund raise for Relay because we have had many family members and close family friends pass away of cancer,” Margaret said.
She is passionate about finding a cure for a disease that “takes young and old.
“It is difficult in today's world to meet someone who does not know anyone affected by cancer,” Margaret said. “My boys and I are not scientists, so our only contribution [is] to raise funds and awareness.”
Music is one way they try to help. She explained that Rob, who sings and plays the guitar, comes from a family of musicians.
“Through most of his life [he] was in a band,” Margaret said, “and a few years ago created the Sullivan Studio, where he can record artists and provide sound systems.”
It was only natural for their sons to join the band as they “love music and had an interest in instruments from a young age.” Bobby plays guitar, bass and sings, while Chris drums and plays guitar during acoustic sets.
“Long story short, Rob and the boys formed the Sullivan Studio Band. [Bobby and Chris] love music and their ability to play it. It gives them an opportunity to bond with their father at a different level than father-son.”
Rob has always enjoyed performing, according to Margaret, but working in the Sullivan Studio Band is special for him.
“It's beyond any enjoyment he had received before,” she said. “It's a very proud moment.”
Another benefit of performing is that it can be used as a way to raise funds for important causes. Both Rob and his wife are invested in the philosophy of “helping thy neighbor” whether it is Relay for Life or the Arts Alliance.
“Rob and I believe in giving back to the community,” Margaret said. “We want to instill that in our kids, so along the way, we always included them in any charitable venture we undertook.”
One recent activity for the family was their “Rockin” for Cancer” concert they organized Oct. 26 at JJ's Sports Bar and Grill in Northborough. Along with Heavy Horses, they played an acoustic set with all proceeds going to Relay for Life.
“The Sullivan Studio Band has played at other Relay fundraisers,” Margaret said, “in addition to other benefits for causes, such as disabled programs and educational scholarships.”
“Rockin” for Cancer” is not an annual event, she said, but “we hope it will become one.”
“We donate our time and talent, in addition to money, to help the fight against cancer through fundraisers,” Margaret said. “The satisfaction comes from helping others, going back to the community and knowing that we are making a difference.”
The Relay for Life in which the Purple Piggy Bankers will walk is slated for Friday, June 7, 2013, in Hudson and Marlborough. For more information about the team and Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org or like Avidia's Purple Piggy Bankers on Facebook.
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