This is the second year the squad has presented Beatlemania. The cast plays over 15 different guitars and performs 30 classic hits starting with songs from the Ed Sullivan era, the Sgt. Pepper album and ending up at Abbey Road.
"Last year's concert was great," said Pete Hauptman, treasurer of the squad. "It was great to see people in their 70s jumping up and down and dancing with teenage kids."
The Maplewood First Aid Squad is a volunteer organization that provides free emergency medical services to the citizens and visitors of Maplewood. The Benefit Concert will help the Squad with operating expenses including medical supplies, insurance, vehicle maintenance and utility costs.
"One of the reasons we began doing it is that donations have dropped through the floor," said Hauptman. He said that the squad costs rougly $800 per week to operate, though that amount can vary from one year to another if there are unexpected large expenses.
Although the squad has trimmed costs, even cutting a weekly cleaning service and having squad members clean the facility themselves, its future is still very much in question.
"Next year is our 40th anniversary," said Hauptman, "and unless we are getting support, we will run out of money."
Hauptman said that if every household and business in Maplewood donated $10, it would be enough to allow the squad to operate for roughly a year and a half.
"A lot of folks don't realize how important the squad is," said Hauptman, who pointed out that if the squad shuts down -- as has happened in other municipalities -- residents who use ambulance services would pay out of pocket.
The Beatlemania concert will be dedicated to the memory of Bruce Mandel, the squad's captain who passed away suddenly one year ago. Also, the squad will again host the annual Maplewood First Aid Squad Bruce Mandel Memorial 5K on October 13. Patch will feature more details about that event soon.
General admission to the concert is $16.00. Tickets can be purchased in advance by sending a check made out to Maplewood First Aid Squad at this address: P.O. Box 572, Maplewood, NJ 07040, or can be bought at the door. For more information, visit the First Aid Squad website, or call 800-327-7617.