Salty Dog Reunion Supports The Community

School of Rock at Fall Creek Elementary will receive a designated grant from Salty Dog Reunion. Photo: Lauren Comly

The Salty Dog Reunion shared their fun with the community through donations to three local groups. Donations were made to the Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative; the Cancer Resource Center; and the Friends of Stewart Park/Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “So many people came together to make this happen, we wanted to honor them and benefit our community,” said Hoyt Benjamin, former Salty Dog owner and one of the reunion organizers. “Businesses, musicians, volunteers, and the reunion participants all contributed to a fantastic event that celebrated music and a wonderful time in our lives. The event went beyond our expectations. We received great support from our reunion location hosts at La Tourelle Resort and Spa and Castaways.”

From left: Scott Wiggins, Martha Frommelt, Hoyt Benjamin, Jyl Dowd, Bob Riter, and Kimberly Hemphill

Bob Riter and Jyl Dowd of the Cancer Resource Center, Martha Frommelt of the Fine Arts Booster Group and Scott Wiggins of the Friends of Stewart Park received the donations from Hoyt Benjamin and Kimberly Hemphill, current Castaways owner. Kimberly extended thanks to her Castaways partners Philip Anbin and Debra Wilson for their joint effort on this event.

What inspired this good work? A kind of “School of Rock” 40 years later! The Salty Dog of Ithaca, now Castaways, was a gathering place for college students, community members and bands to enjoy music. A devoted group of music appreciators and musicians gathered for a reunion held on June 17-19. According to event organizers, 300 people attended the Friday opening evening, 500 people attended Saturday and 300 attended final events on Sunday. 40th Reunion participants also donated used instruments to benefit district students. The current local “School of Rock”, an afterschool program at Fall Creek Elementary School, will receive a designated grant from the Fine Arts Booster Group from this donation.