Rockin4Rescue holds first benefit concert in Bellmore for animal shelter


Waves of dog lovers and music fans filed in to KJ Farrell's on Sunday, March 31 in Bellmore to show their support for a friendly cause. The popular neighborhood pub that doubles as an intimate concert venue was packed wall to wall by both two and four-legged locals.

The event was hosted by Rockin4Rescue, a non-profit organization founded by Curt and Bobbie Arnel to raise money and awareness for local Long Island animal rescues. The pet-friendly organization partnered with Bobbi & the Strays of Freeport, a no-kill animal rescue and adoption center. The inaugural benefit concert sold over 300 tickets to the event, as well as sold tickets for prize raffles and 50/50 raffles.

“We’ve rescued dogs that have come from bad situations and have brought them into our home,” Curt Arnel said. “We discovered, during that process talking with different rescuing agencies, that they are chronically underfunded.”

Arnel, a musician in his own right, called upon local New York bands to play the inaugural concert. The lineup included nearly a dozen bands, including NY Blues Hall of Famers like Breakaway, Sweet Suzi Band, and the Joe Vicino Band.

“Being a musician, having access and contacts to the Long Island music community, we leveraged that in order to start raising money,” Arnel said. “All the money that comes in, we immediately donate to the rescue agency we partner with.”

            The event ran a scheduled six hours, but that lengthy window did not cause fatigue on the part of the concert-goers.

            “I’m having such a great time,” said Lynne Spinelli, a former Bobbi & the Strays volunteer. “This means a lot to me. I volunteered for Bobbi and, subsequently, adopted a rescue dog from her. I would support anything that she does.”

            Spinelli just happened to be one of many attending the event that had either personally volunteered or been affected by the good-natured work of Bobbi & the Strays. Hundreds of audience members packed in to the venue to support. Despite the constant rain and gloominess just outside Farrell’s doors, the bright and hopeful goals and aspirations of the organizations involved kept spirits high. The funds that were collected, through event and all raffle tickets sold, as well as separate individual donations, will be given to Bobbi & the Strays.

            “We’re definitely happy to be partnering with Rockin4Rescue for this event on Sunday,” said Elyse D’Agostino of Bobbi & the Strays. “We’re always happy to get a helping hand so that we can lend an extra helping hand.”

            Bobbi & the Strays Freeport location is located at 2 Rider Place and offers adoption hours six days a week. It also houses a location in Glendale, Queens at 80-36 Cooper Avenue, in which adoption hours are offered seven days a week.

            The concert was the inaugural full-day fundraising event for the Long Island-based Rockin4Rescue. The nonprofit organization partnered with Crunch Fitness for the event, and both organizations supplied ‘doggie’ goodie bags for individuals who had attended and donated to the cause.

            Both Rockin4Rescue and Bobbi & the Strays have pledged to do their respective parts for the betterment of animals here on Long Island. Whether through fundraising, music, or volunteering, Long Island’s neglected and mistreated pets have two more allies willing to do the necessary work to make our home theirs too.