Reaching out to help others is Arthur Liceaga’s mission.
Liceaga, a Westmont resident, started his band Tomorrow’s Alliance with his brother in 2005, and by 2007 he was using it as a way to help.
“We had been playing for nonprofit organizations, and we had our normal gigs, but we wanted to give back to the community,” Liceaga said.
Thus the Tomorrow’s Alliance Community Rocks Project was born.
“We knew so many bands,” Liceaga said, “so we figured let’s bring the community together, let’s bring the music together for a good cause.”
What started as a way to bring awareness and help raise funds for organizations such as the local Lions Club, eventually came to the attention of the United Service Organizations.
Liceaga reached out to the USO, explaining what he and the band were trying to do. About three years ago, the USO reached back and struck up a partnership.
The USO was created in 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt brought together many different organizations working to support the troops and veterans.
“During these world wars, you had five, 10 different organizations covering these different sectors,” Liceaga explained. “How are you linking them all together? That was a struggle back then. Now that it’s 76 years old, we want to bring this to our generation.”
The Tomorrow’s Alliance Community Rocks Project started doing USO benefit shows consistently about a year ago. The shows provide a place for music fans and veterans to go, to meet and to get informed about USO programs between sets. And since the shows are free, all donations go to support the organization. Liceaga also brings banners provided by the USO that supporters can sign and write messages to troops overseas and veterans.
“So many generations grew up with (entertainer and USO supporter) Bob Hope, so many people knew who the USO was,” Liceaga said, “but there are some Millennials in the new generation, 17 and younger, they’re right behind us. They’re entering the workforce, going to college, they have the ability to donate or get their families to donate. We want to bring that awareness to the whole Chicagoland area, bridging that gap. That’s where the music comes in. It gets audiences involved, lets them have a really nice night out, but they’re learning something, too.”
This weekend’s show at the Brookfield VFW Auxiliary 2868, 8844 Ogden Ave., features pop rockers Double Identity, alternative rock band Over The Sun, classic rock veterans Thadeus Project, garage rock band Wompus and Tomorrow’s Alliance.
“We’re honored to be a part of it,” said Joe Brunker, vocalist for Over the Sun. “It’s supercool that people want to actively support the USO … people are serving our country. Regardless of how you view war, they’re willing to die for you. Why not live to promote and help them?”
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Tomorrow’s Alliance Community Rocks Project USO benefit concert with Over the Sun, Tomorrow’s Alliance, Thadeus Project, Wompus and Double Identity
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30
Where: VFW Auxiliary 2868, 8844 Ogden Ave., Brookfield
Info: Free admission; all proceeds go to support the USO; facebook.com/events/346808442443261/