Close to 400 people attended two concerts headlined by Mollie B. at Park on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The concerts were the idea of Park custodian Rod "Peanuts" Esser and were fundraisers to benefit the school and students. He also helped organize a concert headlined by Maggie Mae at the Performing Arts Center in April 2015 that more than 625 people attended and raised more than $10,000 for the MCPASD Education Foundation.
Esser noted Mollie B and the Jim Busta Band made a sizable donation to Park after the concerts.
On Friday, Nov. 17, a private polka party was held for Park students and their families. Principal Monica Schommer said more than 100 adults paid to attend the party along with more than half of the school's students. In addition, approximately 30 fourth-grade students at Park who take orchestra string instruction under the direction of Nancy Kurr performed with Mollie B. for 15 minutes prior to the start of the show.
Mollie B. and other members of her father's band and dance troupe worked with Park students during the school day. They taught students about the history of polka and also worked with them on dancing.
The shows on Saturday were held at 1 and 7 p.m. Schommer said the afternoon show was slightly better attended. Each show lasted approximately 2 hours, which included a 15-minuter intermission.
At the end of each intermission, a tribute lasting about 5 minutes involving all four branches of the military was be held. A video will also be shown at that time.
The shows were held in the Park gym. The middle of the gym floor was left open for attendees to dance.
Mollie B. has been named the National and International Polka Association Favorite Female Vocalist every year since 2009. She will be accompanied by her father, Jim Busta, and her husband, Ted Lange. Visit the Mollie B website to learn more.